LULAC, DANR and CEAC to Hold Financial Literacy Program, Access to Credit at HOSTOS College in NY.

For more information contact:
Ernest Baynard, CEAC (202) 550-1610
Lizette Jenness Olmos, LULAC, 202-365-4553
Victor Capellan (DANR) (202) 238-0097

October 27, 2008

Washington, DC - Today, Citizens for Equal Access to Credit, a diverse, multicultural nonprofit coalition, along with its partners, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Dominican American National Roundtable (DANR) held a financial literacy and minority access to credit event at Hostos Community College in the Bronx. The program focused on the need to provide underserved communities with the right tools to successfully use credit while protecting minority access to credit. The Financial Literacy Education program was led by Sidney Askew, B.S. Accounting, MBA Finance, CPA, Assistant Professor Accounting, Borough of Manhattan Community College.

“As Congress and the Federal Reserve Board move forward to protect consumers it is essential that they understand that the best way to protect consumers is to make sure all obligations are clearly disclosed and that people have the tools to use credit successfully,” said LULAC Executive Director, Brent Wilkes. “Promoting financial literacy in underserved communities and ensuring that those communities continue to have fair access to credit is vitally important, particularly in these difficult economic times.”

Currently, there are proposals in Congress and at the Federal Reserve Board regarding low limit credit cards which could have a profound impact on minority access to credit. Both the Congressional proposal and the proposed Federal Rule make positive steps in protecting consumers from predatory practices but also contain provisions that dictate the structure of applicable fees, and the timetable under which they are to be paid.

A recent study found that over 4.3 million people improved their credit scores using low limit cards in the last year alone to read the full study go to http://www.equalaccesstocredit.org/News.aspx and click on “CEAC Data Study.”To read about the Fed’s Proposed Rule go to the Federal Reserve Website.

“Financial literacy education and protecting minority access to credit are critical components to the economic development and the future prosperity of our communities and our nation,” said Javier Cuebas, Executive Director of CEAC. “Low limit credit cards are a valuable tool for those who are seeking to rebuild their credit, the government should ensure that customers are treated fairly but should make sure these cards remain an option for the over 70 million people in this nation who today would not qualify for a ‘prime’ credit card.”

“Our long term goal is to make sure credit is safe and affordable , and that individual consumers have the tools and resources to make their own informed decisions about obtaining and using a credit card,” said Victor Capellan, President of the Dominican American National Roundtable (DANR). “Both the Fed and the Congress are to be commended on their overall effort to protect consumers but should reconsider ‘one size fits all’ requirements on fees as this may harm the very people they are trying to help.”

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