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Prize-linked savings now on the menu at Louisiana credit unions

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The Louisiana Credit Union League has partnered with several CUs across the state to offer the Lucky Lagniappe Savings Account, a prize-linked savings program made possible by a 2016 state law.

Under the terms of the program, members making a minimum $20 deposit at participating credit unions are entered into drawings for the chance to win cash prizes throughout the year, all while building savings balances. Prizes offered can range from $100 to $5,000.

According to the league, members also have the chance to win monthly and quarterly prizes from two different prize pools, which are worth more than $140,000. Savers earn entries for every $20 they save in a given month, with a maximum of ten entries per month. The Lucky Lagniappe Savings program will award a $5,000 grand prize this year, plus ten monthly prizes of $100 and quarterly prizes of $500. A saver getting the maximum amount of entries will save more than $3,000 at their credit union in one year alone.

“The best part of Lucky Lagniappe is that members are incentivized to grow their savings account regardless of the drawing outcome,” LCUL President Bob Gallman said in a statement. “The program helps consumers develop good savings habits and improves their financial situations. It rewards credit union members for saving money, not spending money.”

The participating credit unions comprise:

  • Access of Louisiana Federal Credit Union (based in Sulphur; $30 million in assets)
  • Alexandria Municipal Employees CU (Alexandria; $23 million)
  • ANECA FCU (Shreveport; $108 million)
  • Barton Plant Employees FCU (Luling; $19 million)
  • Coast Guard Employees CU (New Orleans; $5 million)
  • CUSA CU (Covington; $33 million)
  • First Pioneers FCU (Lafayette; $39 million)
  • Heart of Louisiana CU (Pineville; $108 million)
  • Maple FCU (Lafayette; $32 million)
  • Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff’s CU (New Orleans; $5 million)
  • Section 705 FCU (Lafayette; $33 million)
  • Total Choice FCU (Hahnville; $56 million)
  • University of Louisiana FCU (Lafayette; $48 million)

Citing data from the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, The League noted that Americans spend more than $70 million annually on lottery tickets, while approximately 25 percent of the population has no emergency savings and 62 percent do not have enough set aside to pay for an unexpected $500 car repair bill or a $1,000 emergency room visit.

“As member-owned cooperatives, credit unions are especially focused on member benefits, and this program is all about helping members get ahead,” said Gallman. “This gives people a safety net. That way, when the inevitable bumps in the road do come along, it’s not a catastrophe. It’s just an inconvenience.”

Various other credit unions and leagues have initiated similar prize-linked savings programs across the country.

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