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OLYMPIA, Wash. – Numerica Credit Union and Washington State Employees Credit Union have teamed up with the Spokane Neighborhood Action Program (SNAP) to help low income residents of Spokane County feel more comfortable with banking through Neighborhood Assets. In addition to free financial training and counseling, the Neighborhood Assets program, staffed twice weekly by representatives from both credit unions and SNAP, offers low income residents the opportunity to open a credit union account. To date the credit unions have opened some 30 accounts. Neighborhood Assets was formed following a survey of SNAP clients that found nearly half did not have an account in a financial institution and that a high percentage use a high-cost sometimes predatory alternative. SNAP clients, who are primarily low income and homeless residents, stated that they are unable to open accounts as a result of past mismanagement or not having enough money to pay fees to maintain an account. “We didn’t think twice about the chance to join Neighborhood Assets,” said Numerica CU President/CEO Dennis Cutter. “It’s a unique program that brings information and service directly to new members in an environment that’s non-threatening. We are thrilled to be able to help move people out of the revolving door of high-cost payday loans and pawnshops to credit unions where the members’ best interests are our priority.” WSECU President/CEO Kevin Foster-Keddie adds, “Low-income families and homeless people have very different financial needs than the typical credit union member and through this program we can really focus on getting SNAP’s clients on firmer financial footing.”

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