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BOISE, Idaho – The Idaho Credit Union League anticipates that 750 Hispanic Idaho residents without banking relationships will start credit union accounts as a result of a program funded by the Department of the Treasury’s First Accounts program. Idaho’s League was one of the Leagues representing credit unions in eight western states that had applied for first accounts money with the help of the National Credit Union Foundation. Idaho received a $38,000 grant over 18 months for its program. “We really didn’t have enough money to accomplish what we needed to do by ourselves,” said Alan Cameron, CEO of the League. So the League used the money to hire someone to coordinate a program that used some materials and resources it purchased but also some that were donated my the Idaho Migrant Council, a non-profit group based in Caldwell, Idaho. Since beginning the program in April, 10 Spanish language financial education classes have been conducted through the Idaho Migrant Council, reaching nearly 100 people. Many of these are individuals within the Hispanic community who are not using mainstream financial providers and are therefore easy prey to businesses that charge exorbitant fees for check cashing, small loans and money transmission services, the League said.

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