With all the current (and historically inspired) unrest happening in our communities and in our nation, I wanted to use the blog this month to highlight some things to be grateful for, and that can still benefit us financially. The history of Black people in America is one fraught with violence, discrimination and oppression, but also community, creativity and resilience. We are a people that continues to make strides despite the odds stacked against us, and while we still have a ways to go, that continues to be true in 2020.
I started this blog as a way to let other people know that they too can take control of their money and feel some measure of peace in how they move about the world financially. Financial freedom is possible even if you have no background in finances because you only need skills that the Black community is already rife with-determination, self-discipline and faith-to make it a reality. While I realize that everyone has different circumstances that impede or assist them on their financial journeys, I still believe that gaining and sharing knowledge around sound financial management is essential to our development as a community. So today I want to trumpet a bank that focuses on just that: OneUnited.
OneUnited is "the nation’s largest Black-owned and FDIC insured bank." Starting almost 50 years ago as Unity Bank and Trust in Boston, MA, OneUnited grew to what it is now by combining Black-Owned banks like Founders National Bank of Commerce in Los Angeles, Family Savings Bank in Los Angeles, Peoples National Bank of Commerce in Miami and Boston Bank of Commerce under one name. All of these banks had the same purpose in mind: "to garner our spending power and channel it back into the communities we serve." Below are some of the services they offer:
Checking: OneUnited offers regular checking accounts as well as Second Chance Checking accounts. The Second Chance Checking accounts, called U2 E-Checking, is specifically designed for people who have ChexSystems history. People with reports like these can often find it harder to open bank accounts because banks don't want to take the risk. OneUnited provides a second chance for folks who need it. You can also get amazing debit card designs like the one above. Make sure to assess all fees and minimum deposits before opening an account.
Savings: Of course, Savings accounts are a must and OneUnited offers those as well. The BankBlack Savings Account requires a $100 minimum to open, and charges no monthly fees as long as direct deposit is connected to the account. Both the savings and checking accounts have online banking as an option.
Credit: Another way that OneUnited provides products that help people get back on their feet is through the Unity Visa Credit Card. This is a second-chance credit card that assists people who have had credit issues in the past rebuild their credit healthily and responsibly.
Financial Education Center: My ultimate favorite thing they do is provide financial education. At the bottom of each of their product offering pages, you can find classes, podcasts, blogs or playlists with financial topics related to that product. For example, at the bottom of the Savings page, is a class on budgeting. Their Financial Education Center has a plethora of topics related to achieving and maintaining financial health.
I've provided a short overview of a few things that OneUnited offers to its costumers, but they do a lot more for Black communities as well as low- to middle-income communities, and one of their locations is right here in Boston! Please check out their website to learn more.
It is important for us to remember that even in hard times, we have things to be grateful for. It's also important to remember that we are capable of sparking change. The more financially fit we are, and the more spending power we achieve, the more change we can inspire. We live in a society where money talks, and we definitely have something to say. Money is a tool to be used, and we need to learn how to use it responsibly and in ways that make things better for our communities and our world. Stay safe out there!