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Building Brighter Futures: Children's Savings Accounts in Illinois

August 22, 2017

In 2009, the Illinois General Assembly created a bipartisan task force to explore a CSA program in the state. The task force recommended that a savings account should be opened automatically at birth for every child born in Illinois, using the Bright Start Direct College Savings Program as the savings vehicle.This report examines what it will take to make these recommendations a reality. To better understand the Bright Start program and how to make it an effective savings tool for all families, we look at how Illinoisans are currently using Bright Start, and explore the challenges low-income families and families of color face in using Bright Start to save for college. We also examine how a CSA program could impact the racial wealth gap in Illinois. Finally, we make policy recommendations for the design and implementation of a CSA program to help Illinois families save for higher education.

Asset Building & Financial Security

The Game of Credit: A High Stakes Game That Perpetuates the Racial Wealth Gap

February 24, 2014

Everyone deserves the opportunity to build a financially secure future for themselves and their families. Access to equal opportunities is the cornerstone of America's core values and is also a necessity to growing a healthy economy. Unfortunately, the reality is a far shot from that piece of the American dream. Income and wealth inequality are at levels that we have not seen since the Great Depression. The Great Recession further expanded an already growing racial wealth gap. Many families have little hope of upward mobility. In fact, day-to-day life is more expensive for those struggling to make ends meet due to unequal access to the tools we all need to build financially secure futures. This includes a basic checking & savings account, a retirement savings account, a college savings account, home and student loans with low interest rates, and a solid credit score that gives you access to these important loans. Many households of color have been denied access to these crucial financial tools needed to build credit and put them on a path to financial health. As this report will show, this inequity has led to a stark racial disparity in credit scores as well as related indicators, such as education level, student loan debt, employment, income, homeownership, and home loan debt. Fortunately, there are programs and policies that can help close the gap and therefore strengthen the economy, which are also outlined in this report.

Asset Building & Financial Security; Education; Employment; Housing & Homelessness

Poverty Fact Sheets for Illinois House District 69

January 1, 2014

These poverty fact sheets provide data for Illinois House District 69 on poverty, extreme poverty, homelessness, health care, affordable housing, retirement savings, and more.


Como Pagar las Primas (Premium) del Seguro Medico a traves del Mercado de Seguros Medicos de Illinois

December 1, 2013

Esta guia compara las diferentes formas de pago disponibles para los consumidores. Debido a que su seguro de salud podria ser suspendido si los pagos mensuales no se reciben a tiempo, es importante que usted elija una opcion de pago que sea lo mas facil posible para que usted pague a tiempo. Para ayudar a facilitar el pago, se puede abrir una cuente de cheques en un banco o cooperativa de credito en su comunidad.

Asset Building & Financial Security; Healthcare

Starting Strong for Community Health! Connecting the Unbanked to Coverage

October 28, 2013

This presentation explains the unique barriers to health insurance that exist for the unbanked in Illinois and what options exist for assisting this population as they seek to get covered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).Learning Objectives:Understand why people are unbanked and the unique challenges they faceExplore the payment methods available for people paying for their health insurance premium on the Illinois Health Insurance MarketplaceLearn about resources to help residents become banked

Asset Building & Financial Security; Healthcare; Poverty

HB 2262 - Answers to Questions We've Been Getting

October 24, 2013

This fact sheet addresses questions from opponents to the legislation HB2262.

Asset Building & Financial Security; Employment; Poverty; Safety Net & Human Services

How to Pay for Health Insurance Premiums on the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace

October 10, 2013

This guide compares the various payment methods available to consumers. Because health insurance could be suspended if monthly payments aren't received on time, it is important that users choose a payment option that will make it as easy as possible to pay on time.


Small Dollar Loan Profitability Calculator FAQ

June 1, 2013

This is a list of FAQs about the organizations Small Dollar Loan Profitability Calculator.

Asset Building & Financial Security

Support HB2262: Eliminating the Asset Limit on TANF

May 28, 2013

This fact sheet shows the impact of passage of the HB2262 legislation and its effects on families and the state. It also includes a list of organizations that currently support the legislation.

Asset Building & Financial Security; Poverty; Safety Net & Human Services

Support SB2400: Automatic IRA Program

May 13, 2013

This fact sheet addresses the reasons that voters should support SB2400, and provides a list of organizations that also support this legislation.

Asset Building & Financial Security; Employment; Poverty; Safety Net & Human Services

Building an AFI IDA Program for Your Organization

May 6, 2013

Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) are savings programs that allow low-income populations to receive a cash match on their savings, for investing in a home, education, business, or other wealth-building assets. This webinar introduces the basics of planning an IDA program, including gauging demand, recruiting partners, and finding funding.

Asset Building & Financial Security; Poverty; Safety Net & Human Services

Small Dollar Loan Toolkit: A Guide to Creating a Profitable and Consumer Friendly Product

April 1, 2013

This toolkit serves as a resource for banks and credit unions interested in offering a safe, profitable, small dollar loan product. The information provided was informed by analyzing the structure of existing loan products, reviewing existing programs and research, and conducting focus groups with small dollar loan borrowers. It provides a coherent summary of the Small Dollar Loan (SDL) environment and the resources necessary to create a safe small dollar loan. An alternative to payday loans, SDLs are a means for customers to obtain necessary credit to pay bills and bridge financial gaps between paychecks. In this toolkit we will define Payday and Small Dollar Loans, outline the advantages of SDLs for customers and financial institutions alike, and review important aspects to consider for credit unions and community banks interested in providing SDLs to new and current customers. The toolkit also provides an online, interactive, profitability calculator to help financial institutions create a consumer friendly, profitable, loan.

Asset Building & Financial Security

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