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Know Your Rights
Source: Make the Road New York
Subject: Profiles of MRNY
Type: Event

Fuerza Cooperativa provides innovative financial services to MRNY members

We are excited to feature an innovative new program for MRNY members that is helping our communities to achieve financial empowerment: Fuerza Cooperativa or ‘Cooperative Strength’. This service helps families and small businesses develop financial stability while reinvesting in their communities and building the power of community-based financial institutions. Read more in the Daily News.

Fuerza Cooperativa is a unique partnership between MRNY and the Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union (BCFCU) to provide essential banking services to low-income and immigrant community members in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Through the Fuerza Cooperativa, MRNY connects people to BCFCU’s non-predatory lending, financial counseling and a range of services for their families and small businesses – services previously unavailable for those living in many of NYC’s immigrant and under-banked neighborhoods, where predatory banking practices are the norm.

For more than one-third of members, this is their first bank account in the United States. With ATM’s at each of MRNY’s offices, it’s that much easier for members to manage their account, make withdrawals and deposits, pay bills, and establish good credit. Through Fuerza Cooperativa, members also easily pay their membership dues to MRNY, thereby investing in the services that support them.

Since launching Fuerza Cooperativa, 454 MRNY members have signed up to date and participant response has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Gloria, an immigrant mother of three, recently became a member of MRNY and signed up for Fuerza Cooperativa.

“The services they offer are wonderful. It is helping me and my family to become financially secure. The program is helping me organize my finances and pay my taxes so that one day my children and I can become citizens.”

The project is win-win-win. Members receive high quality, community-oriented banking services; the Brooklyn Cooperative expands their membership base into new boroughs; and MRNY becomes more financially independent, raising money for vitally needed organizing and services.

To find out more, please visit the BCFCU website.