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  • First Graduates of New Era Tanda Program Highlight Potential for Latino Lending

    Posted by on October 15, 2013

    Coopera client Travis Credit Union (TCU), the Yolo Family Resource Center (FRC) and Woodland, Calif., city officials recently honored the first class of graduates from the credit union’s New Era Tanda Program. Debuted in mid-2012, the program was designed to help Latino participants develop a 12-month shared savings goal and to take advantage of the credit union’s unique savings and loan offerings.

    TCU worked with Coopera to develop the program concept for this unique program centered on tandas (also known as cundinas, sans or quinelas). Informal borrowing/lending circles, tandas are common in immigrant cultures, especially Latin American immigrant cultures. The modernized tanda, developed by TCU, aimed at bridging a cultural custom with the credit union experience.

    Funded in part by a National Credit Union Foundation grant, TCU partnered with the Yolo FRC to conduct the pilot program. The program used a grassroots and culturally relevant approach tailored to the local Latino community. The first New Era Tanda Program class was composed of six people, each of whom was encouraged to attend monthly financial literacy courses, all offered in Spanish.

    Participants contributed on a monthly basis to a shared savings account and also received a group share-secured loan to help save for a down-payment on a vehicle. In addition, after satisfactory completion of the program, each participant was eligible for a TCU credit-building credit card and/or auto loan. Throughout the program, participants and their families were encouraged to discuss how the various financial educational topics and the act of habitual saving affected their financial well-being.

    The grant’s goal was to study, test and implement a savings and lending program that leverages a Latin American cultural tradition, the tanda,” stated Barry Nelson, executive vice
    president of Travis Credit Union. “The program incorporates financial education, peer learning and social reinforcement and rewards to provide a valuable alternative to the consumer and to gain the trust of the local underserved Hispanic community.”

    After graduating from the program in August, participants became eligible for TCU’s individual product offerings to meet their credit-building and/or vehicle-purchase goals.

    The Results

    As with any good pilot, measuring the results was incredibly important to TCU, NCUF and Coopera. TCU worked with Coopera to create pre- and post-surveys to measure and track the change in each participant’s financial beliefs and behaviors. These surveys were administered at the start and end of the program. One of the goals of the program was to build Hispanic members’ credit and good financial habits through financial education. The findings were exciting.

    Here are some of the stats the TCU team reported back to the National Credit Union Foundation:

















    Congratulations to TCU, Yolo FRC and the New Era Tanda program participants on a job well done!


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