New Jersey CU Recognized for Service to Hispanics
North Jersey Federal Credit Union has been designated as a Juntos Avanzamos (Together We Advance) Credit Union for its service to Hispanics and immigrants.
The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions has presented the Juntos Avanzamos designation to 56 credit unions primarily in western states. North Jersey Federal, based in Totowa, about 12 miles north of Newark, is the first credit union in New Jersey to earn the designation.
The designation will support North Jersey Federal's efforts to expand its products and services to Hispanic immigrants including its use of the flexible Customer Identification Program that allows North Jersey Federal to provide loans to individuals who have Individual Tax Identification Number Cards or Matricula Consular Cards, which are given to Mexican immigrants by the Mexican Consulate.
North Jersey Federal ($220 million in assets, 26,957 members) employs bilingual staff at all branches, has consistently created marketing materials and documents in English and Spanish, and launched one of the first Spanish/English credit union websites in New Jersey.
Credit unions can provide vital services to Hispanic households, half of whom are unbanked or underbanked, according to the Federation, which represents credit unions and financial institutions with a mission to serve low-income communities. Hispanics are vulnerable to predatory financial practices because they are typically higher users of alternative financial service providers such as check cashers, money transfer services and “buy-here, pay-here” loans.
A ceremony to commemorate the designation will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 12 at the credit union's headquarters in Totowa.