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Manejo de Efectivo Impact Evaluation: Building Savings among Underserved Latinos

Research funded by Annie E. Casey Foundation

The center conducts research on an initiative designed to help under-served Latino consumers build savings and creditworthiness.

Project Overview

The center is conducting research on an initiative designed to help underserved Latino consumers build savings and creditworthiness.

Effective Money Management/Manejo de Efectivo, a partnership of National Council of La Raza, Bank of America Corp. and four community nonprofits, delivers basic banking services and products to underserved Latino households while connecting them with a personal financial coach who helps them build savings, creditworthiness and financial management knowledge and skills.

Latino households are among the most under-banked in the nation. A recent NCLR survey in California revealed that 21 percent of Latinos in that state are unbanked. That creates barriers for accessing basic financial services, such as checking and savings accounts, obtaining home loans or building assets and investing. In addition, research shows that households that do not have access to traditional financial products and services spend an average $2,400 a year on service charges for alternative financial transaction services, such as check cashing.

The Effective Money Management/Manejo de Efectivo program seeks to help more Latino households enter the financial mainstream through a one-year program of coaching on budgeting, using banking services, establishing and maintaining credit, building savings, using insurance and protecting assets. Counselors will also work with participants to assess their financial situation, tailor a financial action plan to achieve their financial goals and track their progress over the year.

The project will test product, incentive, outreach and support innovations for encouraging regular savings behavior. Researchers will study the impact of those innovations to provide insight that can shape the program going forward and influence policy and industry practice.


The UNC Center for Community Capital conducts research and policy analysis on ways to make financial services work better for more people and communities.


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