by Jordan Green

Monitoring the economic pulse of the Triad

Latino credit union founded in response to criminals preying on un-banked immigrants

The Latino Community Credit Union marks its 10th anniversary in Durham on may 23. The credit union provides “a full range of affordable and accessible financial services… with a focus on latinos and other underserved populations,” according to a recent press release. Founded in Durham, the credit union has expanded to Greensboro, Winston-salem, Raleigh, charlotte, Fayetteville, Garner and carrboro over the past decade.

“In the late 1990s, I remember attending many vigils for latinos who were murdered for their money,” said board chair edgardo colon in a prepared statement. “The lack of access to basic financial services like checking or savings accounts made latinos easy prey for those looking for quick money. The creation of the credit union changed the scene. more branches meant fewer vigils; not simply because latinos now have a safe place to keep our money, but because we have found in latino credit Union an institution that cares for our well being, a place where people can pronounce our name.”

Among the services offered by the credit union, according to the press release, are “competitive interest rates for deposit accounts, low-cost transaction accounts and money transfer services, affordable personal and car loans, credit cards, mortgage and micro-business loans and services, free tax preparation services, as well as a comprehensive financial education program.”

The credit union has made more than $130 million in loans to more than 10,000 families, and has built up about $100 million in assets.