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Community Involvement, Financial Education

SIU Credit Union Partners with Bank On Carbondale

SIU Credit Union has partnered with the City of Carbondale in supporting the Bank On Carbondale program. Specifically designed to assist low- to moderate-income families and minorities, Bank On Carbondale focuses on reducing the barriers that many families encounter with banking.

There is an estimated 368,600 households in the state of Illinois with no checking or savings account – including 50% of all African-Americans. Hundreds of Carbondale households currently rely on check-cashers, payday lenders and pawn shops to cash checks to pay bills and borrow money. Unbanked families, who are already struggling to make ends meet, are paying up to $75 a month to cash payroll checks, relying on pawnshops that charge high interest rates for loans, and unsafely storing cash in their homes.
Too many Illinoisans conduct their financial lives outside the financial mainstream:
• Almost 369,000 Illinois residents lack both a checking and savings account
• Less than 13 percent of low-income neighborhoods have access to a bank or credit union
• The average unbanked worker in Illinois will throw away $574 a year to cash payroll checks


By opening a bank account, you can take an important step toward financial security. With a free or low-cost account, you can start to save for the future and establish a credit history that will help you enter the financial mainstream and achieve your dreams.
Bank on Carbondale can help you:
• Gain access to a free or low-cost checking account so you can keep more of your money.
• Stop currency exchanges and check cashing stores from taking your money with high-interest gimmicks and fees.
• Overcome past financial or credit problems so you can open a checking account without any hassle.
• Open an account even if you are not a U.S. Citizen or don’t have a Social Security number.


Using check cashers may seem more convenient than having a checking account at a bank. But these services cost a lot more than a checking account. Check-cashing stores charge you a certain percentage of each check you cash. Cash a $500 check and pay 2.25%, or $11.25. To cash two paychecks a month, you’re spending over $20 just to get access to your own money! And since money orders can cost as much as $3 per order, your costs could really add up. Our partner banks and credit unions offer low- or no-cost accounts, and most have free bill pay or even free money orders!


Without a bank account, you and your family could lose your money during an emergency, like an earthquake or a fire. You also have no safe place to keep your money, and may become a victim of robbery or theft. Money deposited in a bank or credit union is protected by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.


With a checking account, you can deposit your checks and access your money for little or no cost. You can save money by paying bills with checks, on the Internet, or by direct debit, and avoid paying for money orders. You can use your debit card to make purchases at stores or to withdraw money from ATMs across the city, reducing the need to carry cash. You can also keep track of your spending on the Internet, by phone, or at the ATM.


Without a bank account, it is much more difficult to save your money to reach long-term goals, such as buying a home, starting a business, or investing in your or your child’s education. Studies show that people with bank accounts are more likely to save and move up the economic ladder to financial security.


1. Stop by any Carbondale location of SIU Credit Union. Our staff is trained to answer questions and walk you through each step of the process. To set up a free or low-cost account, you need a valid ID. Many forms of ID are accepted, including passports, Illinois IDs,  Military IDs, and more.

2. Ask them about opening an account through Bank On Carbondale.
SIU Credit Union has designed special banking programs just for you. We’ll answer your questions and help you open an account that best serves your needs.

3. Remember to bring some identification.
You don’t need a Social Security number, but you will need a passport, Illinois ID.

4. Open your new bank account.
The person at the credit union will walk you through the entire process.


Discover free classes and services that will help you achieve financial freedom. Find information about establishing financial goals, managing a budget, getting out of debt, locating free day care, and many other topics.

“Free financial literacy classes provided by Alpha Kappa Psi :
Budgeting and Saving for the Future: April 21, 5pm, Civic Center in Room 116/118

TBA: May 5, 6pm, SIU Student Center in the Kaskaskia Room

Call 618-457-3226 for more information or to register for a class.

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