The Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU) is a community-based and member-owned nonprofit financial institution that provides protection of financial assets, access to loans, financial independence and education to immigrants and other low-income individuals. LCCU is the first fully bilingual financial institution in North Carolina and only the second Latino-focused credit union in the Southeast. LCCU has 50,000 members, more than $74 million in assets, and has financed more than $114 million in loans.
LCCU provides a wide range of financial services to low-income individuals, including savings and checking accounts, children's and youth savings accounts, Christmas accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposits, free check cashing, bilingual ATM access and debit cards, telephone banking services, international wire transfers, online banking, low cost money orders, car loans, personal loans, credit cards, and adjustable and fixed rate mortgage loans with up to 95% financing.
Education is a fundamental component of LCCU's mission, and the credit union offers a number of educational programs:
- Financial Education Workshops: Members and non-members may attend LCCU's free workshops. Topics include how to manage a checking account, use the ATM, save and create a budget, build a credit history, and buy a car or house.
- Credit Counseling: Through BALANCE, a non-profit organization, credit union members can receive free help with their financial problems. They can get assistance about how to develop a budget, obtain and understand a credit report, consolidate debt, and avoid bankruptcy.
- Curriculum: With the support of the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), LCCU has developed a bilingual curriculum that teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) can use to augment their lesson plans on basic money management.
LCCU's services are available throughout North Carolina, although the majority of its members are from Wake, Orange, Mecklenburg, Union, Alamance, Guilford, Forsyth and Cumberland counties. Forty-seven percent of clients live in major urban cities while 46 percent live in minor urban areas and seven percent live in rural areas. Approximately half of LCCU's members are women. Ninety-five percent of LCCU's members are low-income, and 70% of members were previously unbanked.
While LCCU primarily serves the Latino community, 5 percent of members are African-American or Caucasian.
LCCU facilitates Latinos' access to affordable financial services while educating and empowering individuals throughout North Carolina. It has more than 50,000 members, with more than $114 million in financing made available in just nine years. This includes $35 million in mortgages to create 700 homeowners since mid-2004. LCCU has had more than 9,700 participants in its financial education workshops and since 2006, 270 participants have graduated from the program, a series of six workshops.
LCCU recently was the winner of the 2007 Wachovia NEXT Awards, given to propel high-potential CDFIs to a next level of growth, success, and staying power.