Pan American Bank Continues to Create New Citizens Daily

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Pan American Bank Continues to Create New Citizens Daily

EAST LOS ANGELES, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Pan American Bank today announced that the 50 year-old East Los Angeles-based community bank continues to assist in the creation of new citizens daily through its Citizenship Microloan Program.

Developed in the summer 2011 in response to requests from local elected officials and community organizations, the Pan American Bank Citizenship Microloan Program provides a low-cost loan to lawful permanent residents eligible for naturalization. According to a February 2013 Pew Hispanic Center report ("The Path Not Taken") more than nine-in-ten who have not yet naturalized say they would if they could. Approximately one-fifth of those surveyed nationally stated lack of finances as the primary obstacle to naturalization.

"For a great number of lawful permanent residents the only obstacle to naturalization is the application fee. Across the country there are over eight million lawful permanent residents that are currently eligible for citizenship - 2.4 million in California," said Pan American Bank CEO Jesse Torres. "Citizenship provides lawful permanent residents with many benefits, including the ability to vote, run for office, and apply for certain jobs. In addition, citizenship deepens these individuals' commitment to our country and their community, thereby increasing the level of community service and improving the country's overall standard of living."

Due to Pan American Bank's close relationships with community-based organizations that serve the immigrant community, Pan American Bank receives a consistent flow of applications for the Citizenship Microloan. "We are extremely pleased with the result of this program. My mother and father are naturalized citizens. As such, I can speak firsthand to the challenges and rewards that come from the naturalization process. For so many immigrants that are here lawfully it is the final threshold that finally allows them to say 'I am an American citizen.' Every member of the Pan American Bank team is proud of the work we do daily to create opportunity and provide a voice to the many lawful permanent residents turned citizens."

Pan American Bank offers a $1,000 Citizenship Microloan. The loan provides $680 for payment to USCIS as well as an additional $320 to apply towards fees associated with supportive services such as application assistance or English language/citizenship preparation classes. The loan can be obtained for a term of 12, 18, or 24 months. Loan program details are available at

The Citizenship Microloan is part of Pan American Bank's Path to Citizenship Program that provides every applicant with an optional free checking or savings account. The account is free of maintenance fees and minimum balance requirement and requires only $25 to open. A MasterCard debit card or ATM card, online banking, access to over 55,000 fee-free ATMs, and a box of 200 standard checks (checking account only) are provided free of charge at the time the account is opened. The Path to Citizenship Program also encourages applicants to participate in Pan American Bank's free financial literacy education program.

"Pan American Bank bundled the microloan, bank account and financial literacy education in an effort to assist future U.S. citizens in the prudent management of their financial lives. The segment served by the Path to Citizenship Program is largely under-served and in many cases, unbanked or underbanked. Pan American Bank seeks to empower and transform this community not only with citizenship microloans, but with a full suite of financial products and services to ensure a long-lasting benefit to the communities served," said CEO Torres.

About the Path to Citizenship Program

A $50 loan application processing fee will be assessed for administration, processing and ordering of credit and employment reports. The $50 processing fee will be added to the $1,000 loan amount (applicant may choose to pay the processing fee outside of the loan). All loan and deposit account applications are subject to credit approval and qualification. The citizenship loan interest rate is fixed at 12% and the annual percentage rate ("APR") varies between 21%, 18%, and 17% and monthly payment amount varies between $93.29, $64.03, and $49.43, depending on the term of the loan (12 months, 18 months, and 24 months, respectively). The savings account earns an Annual Percentage Yield ("APY") of 0.20%. The APY is subject to change. The APY is accurate as of July 1, 2013. An opening deposit of $25 is required to obtain the APY. Fees can reduce earnings. Applicants for the citizenship microloan must be at least 18 years of age and eligible for naturalization. Terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Complete terms and conditions for loan and deposit accounts can be obtained by visiting Pan American Bank at 3626 East First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90063 or by calling (323) 264-3310.

About Pan American Bank

Established in 1964, Pan American Bank is California's oldest Latino-owned bank and the second-oldest Latino-owned bank in the United States. Pan American Bank is also certified by the U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution ("CDFI"). Headquartered in East Los Angeles, Pan American Bank has served the needs of the Latino communities in Los Angeles and Orange counties for nearly a half-century. Founded by the first Latina United States Treasurer, Romana Acosta Banuelos, the Bank has stayed true to its mission of transforming and empowering Latino communities through banking relationships built on trust, service, respect, communication, and guidance. Pan American Bank is Member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.

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Pan American Bank
Heriberto Cardenas, 323-264-3310

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  California


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