Credit union, Consulate of the Dominican Republic partner to provide financial assistance
The Jesús Obrero Credit Union signed a collaboration agreement with the Consulate of the Dominican Republic in October 2021 to promote the financial health of the Dominican community and offer access to its services to Dominicans with an undefined immigration status.
This alliance seeks to provide decent access to products such as loans, credit cards, car financing or other financial products with the consent of the regulator, in this case the Public Corporation for the Supervision and Insurance of Puerto Rico Cooperatives (COSSEC, in Spanish)
“With funds from the Community Development Financial Institution Certification we have been able to create an extension of our services to offer technology or better facilities to this type of community or particular products such as loan products, credit cards, account openings to broad sectors of the community, specifically to the immigrant community,” said Aurelio Arroyo-González, executive president of the Jesús Obrero Credit Union.
The process for this initiative started in 2018, with constant developments through consultations with other institutions and currently, the investment is around $150,000 in sales, for which they estimate growth of 10% to 15%, as explained by Arroyo.
Jesús Obrero will grant personal loans of up to $50,000, credit cards and car financing, all depending on the client’s situation and cofactors.
And for those who have unregulated immigration status, they must obtain their Individual Tax Identification Number, which is granted by the Internal Revenue Service for those who cannot apply to the Social Security to apply for the program services.
“In the cooperative we have 20 people who work directly and indirectly with this initiative, almost half of the colleagues who work in the cooperative, and they work helping provide decent financial access to the immigrant community,” said Arroyo.
This is the first agreement that any consulate or any jurisdiction of the United States achieves an agreement with a financial institution as defined by the Jesús Obrero cooperative, certified by the US Treasury, said Arroyo-Gonzalez.
Additionally, he explained that it was one of the first cooperatives in Puerto Rico certified by the Treasury in 2019 to access funds from the Treasury’s CDFI program to provide financial access to broad sectors of the community.
Due to their efforts, Jesus Obrero was the first Puerto Rican Credit Union to obtain on May 2, the designation “Juntos Avanzamos” from Inclusiv, an association of savings and credit unions committed to financial inclusion and community development.
This was granted as part of the events associated with the Inclusiv Annual Conference, the largest meeting of credit unions with a mission of financial inclusion in different jurisdictions of the United States.
With the designation, the credit union joins a select group of 123 credit unions in the United States and Puerto Rico committed to serving and empowering the Hispanic and immigrant community, executives said.