How Access to Financial Tools is Impacting the Pine Ridge Reservation

The Lakota Federal Credit Union conducted a survey of its members last summer and found that there has been an increased uptake in use of financial tools by the people of the Pine Ridge Reservation. 31% of people surveyed say they now have a savings account for the first time ever. In addition, about a third of credit union members are spending less money and time traveling to do their banking, and as a result are saving more.

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Bad Debt is History, Thanks to Financial Coaching

Bad Debt is History, Thanks to Financial Coaching

As part of our campaign for National Financial Literacy Month, we have an inspirational story to share with your about a Pokagon Band citizen that was able to build an emergency savings fund, open a savings account, and pay down $7,000 in credit card debt – all in five months – with the help of one of our Network members, Chi Ishobak.

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Savings Program Makes Homeownership Dream a Reality

As part of our campaign for National Financial Literacy Month, we have an amazing story to share with your about a Crow Creek tribal member that made her homeownership dream a reality by working with one of our Network members, Hunkpati Investments.  

Airryn Big Eagle says that before working with Hunkpati Investments, she didn’t save money and was never taught how to manage her finances, which ultimately resulted in damaged credit. “I was living paycheck to five days before my next paycheck.”

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Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Accesses EITC

In 2015, the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Housing & Community Development Corporation trained 174 community members through their Financial Assets & Training Program. As a result, community members improved their skills in the topic areas of budgeting, banking, credit, insurance, home buying, home ownership, and accounting. In addition, KBOHCDC provided tax preparation through their VITA program, which saved low-income working families thousands of dollars in tax preparation fees while maximizing their returns through the use of the EITC. KBOHCDC is gearing up its VITA program to serve even more clients in 2016.

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Kindergarten Student Begins Saving for College

Kindergarten Student Begins Saving for College

Abigail Haas, a student at Red Cloud School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, opened a savings account through Lakota Funds’ Child Development Account Program, a unique matched savings program that focuses on building the family core. She and the rest of her family attend quarterly meetings where they participate in financial literacy and family building activities. Abigail will also receive monthly lessons that teach her about saving and how to be responsible for her account. 

Abigail’s parents plan to make annual withdrawals from the account to help pay for school clothes and supplies but will set aside half of the savings for Abigail’s college education. By the time she graduates college, Abigail will be in a position to successfully move on to higher education.

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