NEW YORK (4/27/11)--The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions has received a major grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies to pilot a nationwide program to help low-income seniors gain financial security. The Atlantic Philanthropies is a foundation that works to put in place policies and programs that will create long-term benefits for disadvantaged populations. Eight U.S. community development credit unions (CDCUs)--credit unions with a specific mission of serving low- and moderate-income communities nationwide--will receive funding to reach out to older adults struggling with debt and limited resources. Savings programs, low-interest loans, consumer counseling and debt-reduction plans will be offered as the “Creating a Path to Economic Security” campaign goes into action. Participating CDCUs will partner with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and its nationwide network of Economic Security Service Centers, and other organizations that provide one-on-one counseling to help seniors regain their economic footing. “The Atlantic Philanthropies recognizes the value of credit unions to their communities,” explained federation President/CEO Clifford N. Rosenthal. “Their generous grant will allow us to help CDCUs serve older members in their communities who may be at risk of slipping further into poverty, but may not know there are resources available to help them. “Many credit unions already offer competitive loan and savings rates, as well as free checking accounts to their members,” Rosenthal added. “Through this program, we’ll help the credit unions chosen for the pilot to tailor their services to low-income seniors and those approaching retirement age, as well as help these institutions get the word out to other older adults who may never have realized now beneficial a credit union could be for them.” The federation and the selected CDCUs also will collaborate with several national organizations working with older adults in implementing the campaign and in disseminating information gleaned from it, including NCOA, the National Disability Institute and others.