Financial Access for Immigrants: Lessons from Diverse Perspectives

Financial access—knowing what one’s financial options are and having products and services to choose from—is closely linked to economic prosperity. The success of today’s immigrants—who come to the United States largely seeking to improve their own prospects for prosperity—depends on their access to mainstream financial institutions that can help them save money, buy homes, access credit, start businesses, and otherwise build wealth. As immigrant settlement has become a widespread phenomenon across the United States, more communities are concerned with the prospects for their full social and economic integration. Strategies that help immigrants participate fully in the financial mainstream benefit not just immigrants, but all residents of the communities where they live. This monograph presents new research on the financial practices of immigrants, and describes both industry approaches to reaching the immigrant market and community innovations in moving immigrants into the financial mainstream.