Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation


For Immediate Release:
October 22, 2010

Financial Literacy Program Brings Financial Benefits


CHICAGO – Earlier this week, the first graduating class of Lawndale Christian Health Center’s financial literacy program, a program certified by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and provided by Heartland Human Care Services, became eligible to open the new Illinois Saves Accounts at Fifth Third Bank.  The Illinois Saves program represents a successful 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.

“One of the program’s goals is to give financial literacy graduates the chance to actually use the skills taught at state-certified financial literacy programs, which will help ensure that the skills are not forgotten,” said Brent Adams, Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation.  “The other goal is to increase consumers’ reliance on savings while simultaneously reducing their reliance on credit.”  

The financial literacy program offered at Lawndale Christian Health Center provided information about:  budgeting; financial products, including bank accounts, investment options, lending options; developing a credit history; building assets; and, building overall consumer skills.   By the time of graduation, the working men and women in the Lawndale community understand their financial options, can take control of their finances, and avoid the cycle of debt in which many lower income workers find themselves.  

“I’m looking forward to building this new account,” said Brandy Boler, one of the program graduates.  “Having access to a no-fee savings account will help provide financial security for me.  In the event of unexpected or unusual cash needs, I will be able to rely on my own money rather than turning to a high-interest credit card.” 

Illinois Saves Accounts are free to graduates of IDFPR-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.  For additional information about financial literacy programs visit:



Illinois Saves Account Fact Sheet


Established by Governor Pat Quinn, the Illinois Saves Account has been developed through a public-private partnership between 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 IDFPR-certified financial literacy programs.


  • IDFPR-certified financial literacy programs provide consumers with the tools necessary for long-term financial responsibility
  • Financial literacy programs provided by a IDFPR-sponsored not-for-profit agency 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.