Millions of immigrants to this country are primary users of the alternative financial sector. Check cashers charge them high fees to convert their payroll checks into cash. Not having a bank or credit union account, most carry their savings in their wallets or hide their funds in their homes. This makes them a primary target for crime.
Credit unions can help.
Youth and young adult savings programs are generally age-relevant, designed to help even the youngest of members learn the habit of savings and about the world of finance. They are often set up as club accounts with their own websites that feature interactive games, social media networks, and/or educational tools. Some savings products are designed around life events, such as weddings, first apartments, first homes, first automobiles, etc., where the member can save for a specific purpose.
Low wealth households include not only low income workers but also renters with moderate income that are unable to save. Low wealth families are of all ethnicities and ages. We know that 30 million American families today are living on the brink of homelessness. These workers from 18 to 64 years of age earn $9 per hour or less. This equates to $18,800 per year and is at the poverty line for a family of 4. Today 1 in 4 families are living below the poverty line. Many of these families do not enjoy common employment benefits such as sick leave and vacation time. Further, lack of health insurance can quickly erode family finances even further.