Money for Mortgages

October 1, 2006

Duke has agreed to deposit up to $5 million in the Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU) over the next five years. The investment will guarantee affordable financial services for low-income individuals in Durham who find it difficult to obtain loans and mortgages through conventional lending sources because they lack credit history.

The money, which will be deposited in million-dollar increments, could provide funding for as many as fifty mortgages, or about 200 people. According to Alison Beck Yonas '91, director of financial management at the credit union, the deposit is the largest LCCU has received. LCCU will dedicate the funds for low-income consumer and mortgage lending in Durham County, home to more than half of Duke's work force.

LCCU is one of the fastest-growing credit unions in the country. In just six years of operation, it has made more than 7,800 consumer loans totaling $32.4 million. Three-quarters of LCCU borrowers have no credit history when they first receive a loan from the credit union, and an average of 750 members create their first credit history each year through its credit-builder and other secured loans.

Duke became one of the credit union's first and largest supporters with an initial deposit of $400,000. Duke has helped to leverage other institutional investors, paving the way for the credit union to develop its homeownership program for new Americans and enabling LCCU to become a nationally recognized model for encouraging new immigrants to trust and use banks.