Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bank on LA looks to Citibank's Ramp UP Accounts

Bank on LA looks to Citibank's Ramp UP Accounts
by Hassan Nicholas

Thanks to Veronica Lopez, consultant for a United Way IDA (Individual Development Account) Program with CFRC (Community Financial Resource Center) and her insight we have brought Citibank's/United Way's Ramp-UP Accounts accelerated savings program to the Bank on LA campaign.
The program was brought in two weeks ago and has already started to be promoted through the Bank on LA campaign via financial education workshops taught throughout the city. Participants of CHIRLA's (Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles) workshops were the first to be formally exposed to the program. Ana Noguez of MALDEF (Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund) and Altagracia Garcia of CHIRLA helped coordinate the Spanish-language workshop, which concluded a series of workshops at CHIRLA's community center.
The program, which will last for a duration of 15 months, allows participants to accelerate their savings by obtaining a high rate "subsidized interest rate". With flexible eligibility requirements, Ramp-UP is the perfect segue for someone with strong inhibitions about opening a bank account and barriers to eligibility (citizenship status, CheckSystems, etc.) to hold a special account with a leading bank for a specified period of time.
One of the biggest lessons that this program will teach its participants is the rewards of earning interest on your money. For those who are accustomed to hoarding their money under the mattress this should present itself an attractive option. Another attractive feature is that almost anyone of lower income can qualify.
Hopefully, this "introduction" will help remove the fear and intimidation that prevents so many people from approaching a bank about their services and encourage them to explore other alternatives in regards to managing their money.

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