To provide free financial literacy courses and personal development programs to underserved minorities in San Joaquin County, Sus Finanzas delivers an educational curriculum and monetary matching program specifically designed to instill sound financial habits.

San Joaquin County, located in California’s Central Valley, is home to one of the most diverse populations in the United States; the majority of the population is Hispanic and many families earn low to moderate incomes. The potential for improving thousands of minorities’ current financial hardships is enormous. But, many minorities have no voice, no visibility, and limited resources to arm themselves with a financial chance to survive. Sus Finanzas was established to address this critical need and to provide comprehensive financial guidance and accessibility to financial solutions.

After identifying the excessive fees and interest rates check cash businesses, advance payday lenders and tax refund lenders were charging minorities, the lack of enforcement against these businesses practices and minorities reluctance to utilize banks, Leandro Vicuna founded Sus Finanzas in February of 2011, to empower minorities with enhanced financial awareness, to educate them with alternatives to these types of businesses and to provide them the necessary financial literacy to achieve personal financial stability.

To reduce financial hardship, Sus Finanzas has been providing a series of interactive financial literacy courses at no cost to participants that visit the California Human Development Agency for job and small business start-up training. In addition, Sus Finanzas has had bankers from different financial institutions attend several of these courses to answer participant’s specific questions about their products and services. By doing this, the participants are able to make informed decisions after comparing the advantages and disadvantages each financial institution has to offer. Transparency and having access to options are the key. Sus Finanzas is hosting courses at other locations such as local high schools and churches. As an added incentive, participants who complete all stages of the educational program, satisfy the requirements of the Sus Finanzas Matching Program and begin depositing funds in their newly opened savings account at a bank of their choice will receive a corresponding match up to a maximum of $250.00.

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