ATLANTA -- To meet the financial needs of Georgia's growing Hispanic population, plans are underway to open a credit union by July 2007.
Officials with the Latino Credit Union Organizing Project met Nov. 3 to discuss plans to open a branch in the metropolitan Atlanta area with the goal of expanding to other parts of the state including Athens and Georgia's coast, which have seen an influx of Hispanic immigrants, the Florida Times-Union reported in a Nov. 6 article.
The credit union would target lower-income workers, many of whom do not qualify for traditional bank accounts or who need loans under $1,000. Under the charter regulations, members of the credit union would not have to supply a Social Security number, but would need to provide a tax identification number, the publication said.
"We're hoping to help the person who needs to get to Dalton to the carpet mill [and] who needs $600 to buy a car," Carter Garber, executive director of Decatur, Ga.-based Ideas, told the publication. The financial consulting group is spearheading the credit union launch. "We're very much targeting this loan fund to the unbankable."
Garber said the proposed Georgia credit union is looking at the $90 million Latino Community Credit Union in North Carolina as a model. Luis Pastor, CEO of the credit union, told the publication that like Georgia, an increase in robberies of Hispanic immigrants was one of the reasons the credit union was founded.
"The community proposed a solution," Pastor said.