Luis De Los Santos

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Luis De Los Santos

1997 Global Fellow
Founder of Credit Where Credit Is Due

Luis De Los Santos 1997 Global Fellow

Bold Idea 

Increase the participation of low income individuals in the U.S. economic by helping them convert low wages into assets and longterm waelth building strategies.


Washington Heights and West Harlem are two of Manhattan’s most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, with an average per capita income of $10,000: only two-fifths the national average. Few banks serve the area, and those that do carry minimum balance requirements and monthly fees that are often out of reach for poorer families. Fifty percent of low-income individuals live without the basic security of bank accounts, and few have ever been able to take bank loans. Credit Where Credit Is Due (CWCID) is committed to the economic empowerment of Upper Manhattan's low-income residents. To that end, they sponsor the Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union (NTFCU), and run a bilingual financial literacy curriculum that includes: Personal Financial Literacy, Entrepreneur's Training Series, Homeownership Education, School Banking, and Youth Outreach. To date, 4,100 neighborhood residents have become members of the credit union, and nearly 2,000 people have participated in CWCID's curriculum.

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