Prepare+ Prosper helps underserved individuals save

Banking program to provide alternatives for underserved communities

Prepare + Prosper, Sunrise Banks team up to launch FAIR

Twin Cities-based nonprofit Prepare + Prosper has joined forces with Sunrise Banks to launch the pilot phase of its three-part FAIR (Financial Access in Reach) Financial Solution. Designed to aid financially underserved individuals in building credit and savings, FAIR is intended to help reduce the impact of high-cost fees and interest. 

Financially underserved individuals (oftentimes called unbanked or underbanked) who do not have access to fairly-priced or properly designed products, often rely on “wealth-stripping” sources such as check cashers, payday loans, and accounts that charge excessive fees.

To help families gain financial well-being, the FAIR Financial Solution will include access to both checking and savings accounts with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirement. Credit can be built through a credit-building loan, saved into a CD.

FAIR is unique in providing an approach to solving the financial inclusion gap by offering financial products with fairer fees through places in the community where access is lacking. Instead of relying on bank branches for delivery, FAIR will be available to people where they work or receive services, such as nonprofit organizations and employers. 

Another key aspect of the FAIR Financial Solution will be upping technology to support customers in working toward goals and building financial confidence. These tools will be centered around human behavior and may take the shape of texts, apps or social motivators to support ongoing savings and credit building. 

Participants in the FAIR pilot project will be selected from Prepare + Prosper customers, as well as those served by partnering organizations. FAIR product offerings will be expanded throughout the Twin Cities and Minnesota to 500 people beginning in January 2019.

Prepare + Prosper hopes to enroll 100 people in the pilot phase. People will be enrolled through Prepare + Prosper or through participating distributors: Eastside Financial Center, Build Wealth Minnesota or New Horizon Academy.