Prosperity Connection® was established in 2009 with the help of St. Louis Community Credit Union. It is a 501(c)3 whose mission is to help individuals and families earn economic independence through financial education, community services and low-cost banking options in an effort to improve their standard of living and better their lifestyle.

We offer free financial coaching and money management education, as well as low-cost banking options for people who cannot open an account or access affordable credit. These key resources make it possible for individuals to earn economic independence.

View Transcript for Prosperity Connection Video

– [Narrator] According to the last three US Census reports, about one fourth of St. Louis’s population continues to struggle every day to afford food and rent. Even after working long hours, too many of us have trouble making ends meet. Bank services are costly and difficult to access in low income communities. Getting an account or loan from a traditional bank is nearly impossible for people in financial trouble.

– I just couldn’t get ahead, you know, without taking care of my debt first.

– I was really looking at no way out. I thought borrowing money was all right.

– [Narrator] To get through the month many resort to services like cheque cashing and payday loans. These loans can have interest rates as high as 450% and leave people owing far more than they borrowed, locking them into a cycle of financial struggle.

– There is generational poverty, persistent poverty, where nobody ever had a stable financial situation, nobody ever came from a financially stable community, and there’s no role model for what that looks like. Right across the street from this CU Excel Center where we’re trying to build financial capacity are at least two or three payday loan places of business. The whole process is meant to trap you in a cycle where you are paying more and more interest and more and more charges, and it’s meant so that you don’t get out of it. It’s meant to trap you and if it ruins you nobody cares.

– [Narrator] No one is immune to these difficult circumstances, but there is hope. St. Louis Community Credit Union started a non-profit called Prosperity Connection to help people get through these difficult times. Prosperity Connection offers free financial counseling, and money management education, and also provides low cost banking services for people who can’t get an account or affordable loan elsewhere. These key resources make it possible for individuals to earn economic independence and sustain it.

– You know, it’s a lot of people that don’t really know what they’re doing with their money, and I was one of them. If it wasn’t for them, probably would be in so much debt right now. I probably wouldn’t even know where to turn to. And they began to really inspire me on saving, and getting things back to normal in my life.

– I came a long way. I came a long way with the counseling and all the different services that I received. I know that I have a resource where I can get out of debt, where I can start all over. It just makes you feel better about yourself. It makes you keep going and it makes you a stronger person.

– If you’ve got problems, we can show you there is a way to dig yourself out.

– [Narrator] Prosperity Connection is dedicated to helping people rebuild their lives, because no one should be denied what they need to keep food in the refrigerator, get to work, or have a decent place to call home. We have a solution to the problem, but we need your support. Together we can transform the lives of individuals, families, and even a city.