Credit unions care about kids. We support all kinds of children’s charities, provide financial educational opportunities, support little league, athletic and after school programs. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty fourteen million American children live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level, which is $22,050 a year for a family of four.
The number of children living in poverty increased by 21 percent between 2000 and 2008 – and I suspect with the economic climate these numbers are even higher in 2010. However, this tells only part of the story. An additional 15 million children (totaling 29 million) live in low-income families.
This totals 41% of American children.
The rates of official child poverty vary tremendously from one state to the next as does those children coming from different ethnic backgrounds. Children that come from Hispanic or African Homes are disproportionately poor. The fact and figures show that:
- 11% of white children live in poverty
- 35% of black children live in poverty and
- 31% of Hispanic children live in poverty.
Credit unions can make the difference for these children and their families. Access to affordable financial products can dramatically increase the earning potential of parents to raise the financial conditions within the home. A perfect example of how credit unions can help is providing nonprime used auto loans. Priced correctly these loans can provide a good return for the credit union and more affordable loans and quality cars for members. Other options to help these families include affordable check cashing services, reloadable prepaid cards and debit only checking accounts.
To learn more about childhood poverty check out the research paper – Who Are America’s Poor Children – the Official Story. It is an excellent report with great information.
Together we can a difference – a big difference.
What your credit union is doing to assist low wage working families?