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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Critical Moments of Immigrant Integration: A Research Brief of the Impact of Financial Education, Coaching, and Traditional Lending Models for Increasing Financial Capability


This paper highlights the findings of a multicity pilot project that the National Coalition of Asian Pacific American Community Development implemented in partnership with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI)–serving community-based organizations in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Houston. This partnership with all four organizations represents the largest lending-circle pilot project to date in the AAPI community. Over the course of one year, we tested a program model that integrated financial education training and individualized coaching with immigrant integration services such as English as a Second Language, citizenship classes, parenting classes, and workforce readiness. Clients were also offered an opportunity to access Lending CirclesSM, a peer-lending financial product, as a vehicle for helping to improve savings habits while also building credit. This essay will discuss recommendations for replication by other community-based organizations and practitioners.

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