The Financial Equality Project

NerdWallet is taking a stand against financial inequality. Through our first social impact initiative, we’re supporting the work of credit unions serving low income communities to help provide access to equitable financial products and services.

Ready to make a difference now?
If you’re an employee passionate about your company getting involved, download this email to send to your leadership team.

If you’re ready to help the cause now, fill out this form.

For more on the issue, keep reading.

Financial inequality is a reality for millions of Americans.

22% of adults in the US are unbanked or underbanked* with no credit and little cash in their pockets. This group is more likely to have low income, less education, or be a part of an underrepresented group.
When these unbanked Americans try to start a business, buy a home, or pay for an emergency expense – steps towards long-term wellbeing for themselves, their families, and their communities, they lack proper options.
Forced to turn to predatory financial services that can come with higher fees and interest, the unbanked or underbanked have paid $140 billion in unnecessary costs.**

Credit unions serving low-income communities are vital to bringing economic equality to everyone

These credit unions are a safe alternative to predatory financial options (like payday loans). They deeply understand their members’ greatest needs and help by offering no to low minimum balance accounts, financial counseling, affordable access to credit, as well as a safe place to save and build assets.
Jessica Encarnacion, founder of The Van Duzer Artisan Market continues to grow her small business thanks to the product offerings from Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union. Check out how the credit union helped support Jessica’s dream.
Although Darrel has since moved from the Bay Area, his local credit union helped him get back on his feet. Hear his story.

NerdWallet is championing the effort to create real change in financially underserved neighborhoods

Creating a movement to advance financial equality

Depositing bankable cash into credit unions serving low-income communities helps provide access to equitable financial products and services. NerdWallet has deposited $2 million in bankable dollars with Self Help Federal Credit Union to fund personal, mortgage, and commercial loans for its members.

In partnership with Inclusiv, the nonprofit network of community development credit unions (CDCUs) providing capital and support for hundreds of credit unions serving low income communities we are making it easy for companies to find the right credit union in need of capital.

Make a difference.
Make a deposit.

We’re asking companies across the country to join us by depositing $1 million of their banked dollars into these credit unions, putting their money to work, and helping us turn this socially conscious money move into a movement.

For next steps, fill out our form. We’ll connect you with Inclusiv to find a credit union accepting deposits near you.
Our partners

Supporting the work of MDIs through grant giving

In 2021, we established the Bay Area Impact Fund, donating directly to enable day-to-day operations with three local minority depository institutions (MDIs) in the Bay Area: The Self-Help Federal Credit Union, Northeast Community Federal Credit Union, and Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union.

This year, we’re extending our impact nationally by donating directly to the Racial Equity Grant Fund to support up to 10 new MDI CDCUs and cooperativas. These sub grants will be used for operations, technology, outreach and ongoing recovery efforts in communities of color across the US and support these MDIs through the CDFI certification and CDFI grant writing processes to expand financial inclusion in the low-income communities of color they serve.

Tapping into the power of our Nerds

We're using our entire team's knowledge and expertise to support our credit union partners by offering our Marketing, Technical, and Financial support pro bono.

Partners who’ve joined the cause

We may have started the movement, but we’re not alone. Your organization could join these partners committed to making a difference in financial equality.

Now is the time to help

Now is the time to help

Want to help by depositing some of your company’s banked dollars? Fill out our form below to receive a list of approved credit unions near you from Inclusiv. If you have any additional questions, email us at [email protected]
contact us

Looking to learn more about this issue?

What Are Community Development Financial Institutions?

CDFIs are banks and credit unions that accommodate people who are traditionally locked out of financial systems.
Learn more
Second Chance Checking Accounts Across the U.S.

Second chance checking is an option if you've been rejected for an account due to a bad banking history. Accounts are available in all 50 states.
Learn more