As I’m sure you’ve heard me say before in my blog many times, we are always looking for more ways to help members of our community. Over the past several years, we have continued to expand our services to reach people all over Connecticut. As part of this growth strategy, we have placed special focus on the underserved members of the community. This includes becoming a CDFI designated credit union (read about CDFI here). CDFI designated credit unions work specifically with the under-served minority and lower income members of the community.
As we continue to build relationships with these communities across the state, we have learned there is one particular area that families find challenging. Many working families struggle to maintain reliable transportation to and from work. Having dependable transportation to a job often means the difference between a family gaining financial independence and a family remaining in the poverty cycle.
For this reason, we have developed a program that I am very excited to talk about today. Our new Working Wheels Car Ownership Program is designed specifically to help lower income families purchase reliable vehicles. Working Wheels is a unique empowerment initiative that will provide hardworking, credit-challenged families with a chance to gain an economic foothold. Owning a reliable vehicle is often a necessity for getting or keeping a job. Public transportation cannot always meet a family’s needs, particularly in the case of low-income workers who work night shifts or have multiple commutes to jobs, daycare and school.
This program allows working families (or families with a student) who have annual household income of less than $30,000 to borrow up to $10,000 for vehicle purchases. Applicants must have at least 6 months of employment at their jobs to qualify. The program also includes a financial education component to stress the importance of proper financial management and car maintenance.
The primary goal of the program is for borrowers to successfully purchase a vehicle without having to resort to predatory lending options. Additionally, borrowers will improve their credit history through successful repayment of the loan, which is vital to long-term financial health.
I am extremely proud of the work Nutmeg does in serving all members of the community. We are excited to provide this new service that will make a significantly positive impact on the financial lives of so many families. If you or a loved can benefit from the services of this program, or if you work with a community organization that can provide these services, please be sure to contact us for more information.
President & CEO