BankOn was launched in 2013 by the Coalition For Economic Opportunity (CEO) in order to help Charlottesville residents avoid predatory lending and offer low interest loans to those who qualify. It is estimated that, within the City of Charlottesville, that 8.5% of all households are unbanked and 19.1% of all households are under-banked. The Charlottesville Metro Area, which includes the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Greene, and Nelson, has an estimated 3,594 unbanked households and 12,694 under-banked households.
In 2015, the BankOn program was fully integrated into the job seeker services provided by Downtown Job Center staff of the City of Charlottesville's Office of Economic Development. This allows individuals to receive employment services and financial counseling in a single visit.
WHAT WE OFFER
BankOn of Greater Charlottesville consists of one-on-one financial counseling, financial literacy seminars, a bank referral network, and a microloan program. Since its inception, BankOn has provided financial education to over 200 Charlottesville area residents, helped over 100 residents open affordable deposit accounts, and provided numerous low-interest loans.
BankOn provides the following services:
- One-on-one financial coaching (e.g., budgeting, credit report review, etc.)
- Financial education through workshops and presentations
- Free and low cost “starter” bank accounts, which can expedite and lower the costs of receiving a paycheck or tax refund (According to the National League of Cities, the average unbanked worker spends an estimated $40,000 throughout his or her lifetime just to cash paychecks)
- Provide information on the requirements to open an account and make referrals to partner banks to open accounts based on individual circumstances (Some BankOn partner’s offer no or low opening deposit, no minimum monthly balance, no or low monthly fees, and free cashier’s checks)
- Find account options for clients with negative ChexSystems history and/or low credit score
- Make referrals to BankOn partners offering inclusive ID policies, which are options for those without a Social Security Number
- Low interest microloan referalls to partner banks. Low interest loans, which can save consumers $500 compared to a payday loan, can help build, or rebuild credit and are available after completing a BankOn or partner financial education class. The maximum amount is $650 per loan, with an interest rate of 12% or less, with payments over 6 to 12 months.
If you need advice about building or repairing your credit, need help developing a plan to get out of debt, worry about opening a bank account because of previous credit issues, and want to have a network of professionals that can help you with budgeting and money management, contact BankOn of Greater Charlottesville so we can help you find an account that meets your needs as well as connect you with the financial education that you need to reach your goals.
CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE DOWNTOWN JOB CENTER
Jefferson-Madison Regional Library – Lower Level
201 East Market Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902