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Investing in the American Dream

Karen Andres
Thea Garon

Investing in the American Dream - How Financial Institutions Can Build Long-Term Relationships with Immigrants Before and After Immigration Reform

Immigrants, like all consumers, need access to high-quality financial services that meet their day-to-day transactional needs and set them up for long-term financial success. With approximately 40 million immigrants residing in this country, comprising nearly 13 percent of the total U.S. population, the opportunity to serve this growing community has never been greater. The prospect of a comprehensive reform of the United States immigration system presents banks, credit unions, and other financial service providers with a unique opportunity to develop high-quality products for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States. 

Providers that succeed in reaching these individuals at a pivotal moment in their financial lives are likely to reap the benefits of loyal, engaged, and long-term customers. As such, financial institutions should not wait for the passage of immigration reform to serve these consumers. They should act now by developing foundational products like credit-building loans and “legalization and citizenship loans,” as well as basic transactional, saving, and credit services that put immigrants on the path towards long-term financial health.

The following strategies provide a roadmap for banks, credit unions, and other financial service providers to serve immigrants both now and after comprehensive immigration reform has passed.