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January 2019 Newsletter

RAISE Texas News

Happy New Year! There are lots of great programs, services, projects, resources and opportunities for you to get involved in through our work coming up this year. Let’s make RAISING Texas a priority this year! We look forward to working with all of you! We would like to thank the over 170 people that took part in or attended our RAISE Texas 10th Anniversary Summit on December 5-6, 2018 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The event was a success and we were excited to read the positive evaluations and to hear the great feedback from our network. Thank you for celebrating 10 wonderful years of RAISE Texas with us, and we hope that all of you will get involved in the working groups and engagement opportunities coming up this year.

Texas News

Prize-Linked Savings Accounts Launch in Texas!
Following the change in state legislation permitting prize-linked savings accounts, Cornerstone Credit Union League teamed up with CU Solutions Group (CUSG) to offer Save to Win. Beginning last fall, Cornerstone, the trade association for credit unions in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, now offers the program to credit unions and credit union members in the states of Arkansas and Texas.

This program is very important to Cornerstone and its mission,” said Bob Rehm, Vice President Sales and Marketing at Cornerstone. “CUSG and Cornerstone are coordinating efforts to increase credit unions’ wallet share and help members build savings through the Save to Win program.”

Save to Win accounts promote healthy saving by qualifying account holders for monthly and quarterly cash prizes each time they make a $25 deposit. To date, the program nationally has helped members save approximately $180 million and has awarded more than $2.8 million in prizes.

Austin-based A+ Federal Credit Union, the first credit union in Texas to launch the Save To Win program, went live on November 1. Since then, seven additional credit unions have signed up, with four going live January 1. The others will go live in February and April.

Save to Win will celebrate its 10-year anniversary in 2019, and the program continues to grow as prize-linked savings legislation is passed in more states. The program is now offered at 120 credit unions spanning 13 states.

For those interested in helping to push the prize-linked savings accounts forward in Texas, RAISE Texas is putting together a working group and would love to include you. In order to join the working group on prize-linked savings accounts in Texas, simply send an email to Lauren at Lgates@raisetexas.org by February 1. We look forward to working with you!

Time to Track Important Asset Building Bills in Texas
Texas’ 86th Legislative Session began on January 8, 2019. RAISE Texas and its partners will be closely monitoring bills that will affect the asset-building field in Texas. Starting in February, we will begin listing bills on our Texas Legislation Page so you can follow the bills through each step of the session. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about this year’s session. The deadline for the unrestricted filing of bills and joint resolutions is Friday, March 8, 2019.

National News

Interactive EITC Benefits Data Tool
If you need data on EITC benefits in your community, Urban Institute offers the EITC Interactive Database. This database shows how EITC affects individuals and communities by sorting the data by zip code, state, city, county, and more. Visit the new tool here.

Can Marriage Increase Wealth?
In a new article by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, greater net worth was one of the features of long-term financial stability positively associated with marriage in young households. Key takeaways from the report include:

  • As fewer 25 to 34 year olds wed, those who are married have gained more of young adults’ housing wealth;
  • A growing proportion of young adults have become more financially vulnerable, via having greater debt, during a transitional stage of life; and,
  • Young couple who were living together but not married had median net worth similar to that of young single adults.
Click to read the entire article which uses data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) which provides information on the relationship between balance sheets and relationship status for independent young adults over a 27-year span.