The New York Times Magazine highlights LISC’s Twin Accounts program in the article: “How Credit Card Debt Helps the Poor.” Without access to credit, low-income working families face limited economic opportunity. Landlords, employers, and insurance companies look at credit scores as part of their decision making process. Individuals with low credit scores lack access to quality rentals, are unqualified for certain jobs, and are required to pay deposits for utilities.
The LISC supported Centers for Working Families work with people to get jobs, reduce debt, and build savings. One of its most important services is helping people gain access to credit. LISC’s Twin Accounts program is a tool used by the Centers for Working Families that helps low-income families build credit through small, short-term loans ($300) coupled with a one-to-one matched savings account. As individuals pay back on their loan, the financial institution reports timely payments to all major credit bureaus. We have seen Hoosier families increase their credit scores and savings through this program through our partnership with Financial Health Federal Credit Union.