Advocate groups across the whole of the United States are finding more and more new methods by which to assist undocumented immigrants to get on the pathway to US citizenship. A unique option for immigrants that live in the growing Hispanic community in California is now being provided by a local credit union.
This credit union, that has various branches throughout different cities in the state, is launching a new loan program that will cover the application fee for undocumented immigrants wanting to gain citizenship. The California division of a Self-Help Federal Credit Union known as Community Trust, is proposing to provide loans of up to $1,000 to individuals for the citizenship application, and up to $4,000 for a whole family.
There will be 12% interest on the fee for borrowers but the interest amount will be less if it is paid off prior to receiving the disbursement. The credit union is making an attempt to increase its client base in California’s Hispanic community with the organization hoping that once immigrants have become customers of the credit union, they will take out a home loan or open a savings or checking account.
Many undocumented immigrants are unable to speak English fluently or do not have a financial advisor, making them easy prey for fees or predatory lending practices by paycheck cashing services. The credit union believes that financial institutions are under-serving this population and want to engage them themselves.