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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2011

State-Wide Launch of “Illinois Saves” Financial Literacy Program Brings Financial Benefits to Families

CHICAGO – Today, as part of national Money Smart Week®, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) Brent Adams announce the launch of a state-wide effort to help working families improve their financial futures with “Illinois Saves.”   The program is also partnering with Consumer Federation of America and the Economic Awareness Council.

“I am pleased to be a part of this effort because the treasurer’s office is vested in financial literacy.  Financial security is important to each and every one of us, whether we’re talking about government fiscal responsibility or personal financial safety,” said Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford. “The treasurer’s office’s Bank On Illinois program helps people understand and tap into checking accounts as a safe and flexible way to protect money, and I hope anyone who’s not using bank accounts will learn more through Bank On Illinois and Illinois Saves.”

“Illinois Saves” was originally developed within IDFPR to give families access to consumer-friendly savings accounts at participating financial institutions after completion of an approved financial literacy education course.  The Illinois Saves program represents a public/private partnership between State government, non-profit community organizations and local financial institutions willing to develop new products to encourage working families to participate in the banking system.

“A family’s financial well being can be significantly enhanced by wisely using the products and services offered by financial institutions,” said Secretary Adams.  “’Illinois Saves’ gives financial literacy graduates access to a savings account that is designed to increase consumers’ reliance on savings while simultaneously reducing their reliance on credit.”  

Fifth Third Bank was the first to join IDFPR in this effort.  Joining Fifth Third Bank at today’s events are representatives from Citibank, Foster Bank, Harris Bank, Sherwin Williams Credit Union, and South Division Credit Union.  Organizations offering and/or supporting financial literacy programs include the Heartland Alliance and the Woodstock Institute.

Illinois Saves Accounts are free to graduates of State-certified programs, accept direct deposit payments from employers or government benefit programs, and provide unlimited access to funds in the account through ATM access or electronic transfers. 

Illinois Saves Account Fact Sheet


Established by Governor Pat Quinn, the Illinois Saves Account has been developed through a public-private partnership between the Illinois Treasurer’s office, the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), not-for-profit organization and financial institutions.  The Illinois Saves Account strives to bring the benefits of banking to graduates of state-certified financial literacy programs.

Benefits

• Certified financial literacy programs provide consumers with the tools necessary for long-term financial responsibility
• Financial literacy programs are provided by state-sponsored not-for-profit agencies at no cost
• Graduates will receive a certificate upon completion of the financial literacy course, making them eligible for the “Illinois Saves” Account

Terms & Basic Characteristics

• Savings Account with ATM and electronic transfer capability (no debit  capability)
• Account can receive deposit via direct deposit
• Automatic opt out of costly “Overdraft Protection”
• No Minimum Balance
• Override of ChexSystems
• Other financial services to be offered at competitive market rates:

• Money orders
• Check cashing
• Domestic wire transfers
• International remittances

Account-Holder Expectations

• Certified graduate of IDFPR-sponsored financial literacy program
• Account-holder agrees to direct and/or recurring deposits
• Account-holder agrees to terms outlined in “Checklist” executed by financial institution and account-holder at the time account is opened.



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