¡HICA! Integrates Services to Help Clients Earn Financial Success

¡HICA! Birmingham, AL

Financial Capability

As part of a 2018-2020 Wells Fargo grant from NALCAB, the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (¡HICA!) was able to more formally integrate financial capability curriculum into their existing programs and drastically increase the number of clients that they were able to help gain financial success. One of those clients is Luz. 

At Luz’s first one-on-one coaching session, she was hesitant to share her financial information. Her previous bank account had been shut down because she had been using a personal account for business purposes, and the financial activity was deemed suspicious by the bank. She felt like she had ruined her banking relationship for the future and would be judged negatively. 

As part of the Affinity Group Lending (AGL) application process, ¡HICA! began a conversation about her financial situation, which included an action plan for her depository relationship and credit building. Her action items were to open a bank account and a secured credit card to generate a credit score. She took immediate action, returning to the bank where she had previously been. She was able to sit down with the banker and relay her financial goals and ask for the products she needed to build credit. The banker re-opened her depository account, and because of her old relationship, she was approved for a $2,000 unsecured credit card. 

After eight months, Luz increased her credit score to 674. This made it possible for her to get a car loan for a reliable vehicle at an affordable monthly price. In addition, she shared her experience with other AGL team members and connected her banker with ¡HICA! She continues to work on her credit, keeping a close eye on her monthly statements, and asking questions when she does not understand. She took the steps to strengthen her financial health and with help, she has become an advocate for herself in the financial field. 

In light of the recent challenges presented by COVID-19¡HICA! will receive ongoing funding and support from NALCAB for two additional years.