#ShowMeTheMoney: Achieve Products with Bank Five Nine

Achieve Checking Account

Bank Five Nine’s Achieve Account is a unique paperless product for customers looking to either establish themselves financially, or who are in need of a second chance. Financial hardships and lack of financial management skills can have a strong impact on your finances and we want to help! Certified through BankOn, a platform sponsored by the CFE Fund (Cities for Financial Empowerment), this account is designed specifically to help you Achieve financial freedom.

Receive these great benefits with your Achieve Checking account*

  • $25 minimum to open, then no minimum balance requirement
  • Access to hundreds of fee-free ATMs
  • eStatements
  • FREE online banking
  • FREE online bill pay
  • FREE mobile banking with check deposit


Achieve Credit Builder**

Need help building your credit? Bank Five Nine can help! Receive a $1,000 loan with a 24-month term for only $20 due at closing.

If you would like more information, or are interested in an Achieve Checking account or building your credit, please visit one of our Convenient Locations.

Minimum deposit to open Achieve Checking account is $25.00. Monthly fee of $5.00 applies. The Achieve Checking account prohibits check writing. Debits on the account are made through the use of a debit card, consumer/mobile banking or bill pay. This account receives electronic eStatements.

**Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 1.947%. 24 month term with a payment of $41.67 per month. $20 due at closing. Must have or open a checking account with Bank Five Nine to get an Achieve Credit Builder Loan. Loan proceeds are transferred into an Achieve Savings Account which is borrower restricted during the life of the loan. Program subject to change and availability.

#ShowMeTheMoney: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

The IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free basic tax return preparation to income qualified individuals. If you would like help with preparing income taxes, contact one of the organization’s below.

Milwaukee VITA Service Providers

Riverworks Financial Clinic
526 E Concordia Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53212
Schedule by phone at 414-906-9650

Social Development Commission – 3 Locations
1730 W North Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53205
Schedule by phone at 414-906-2700

#ShowMeTheMoney: Mortgage Rescue Scams

Did you know that state and federal laws prohibit people from charging you up-front for help with foreclosure prevention, or with lowering your interest rate? Collecting your money first, before help is provided, is illegal and a scam. If you are behind on your mortgage or think you may miss a payment, you have likely options.

Scam artists often target homeowners who are struggling to meet their mortgage commitment or anxious to sell their home. While all homeowners are vulnerable to these scams, scam artists tend to target people of color, the elderly, and those with limited English.


  • The scam artist (sometimes posing as an attorney) tells you that he/she can negotiate a deal with your lender to save your home – if you pay a fee. Once you pay, the scam artist takes off with your money.
  • You are asked to make all your mortgage payments directly to the scam artists while they negotiate with the lender. After collecting your payments for a few months, the scammer disappears with your money and you still owe the lender.
  • You think you’re signing documents for a new loan to make your existing mortgage current—but instead, you have given the scammers ownership – the deed to your home.
  • You surrender the title to your home as part of a deal that allows you to remain in your home as a renter, and buy it back later. But you lose all rights, and the scammer takes the equity in your home.
  • A scam artist offers to find a buyer for your home, but only if you sign over the deed and move out. Once you transfer the deed, the scam artist rents out the home and pockets the proceeds while the foreclosure continues. You lose your home—and you’re still responsible for the unpaid mortgage.


  • Beware of anyone who asks you to pay a fee in exchange for lowering your interest rate or modifying other terms of your mortgage, or for other help with foreclosure prevention.
  • Never make a mortgage payment to anyone other than your mortgage company without the mortgage company’s approval. And beware of anyone who tells you to stop communicating with your mortgage company.
  • Beware of anyone who guarantees their help. While organizations who provide this service have experience, there is never a guarantee that foreclosure mediation will work.
  • Beware of people who pressure you to sign papers immediately or who try to convince you that they can “save” your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house.


To report a suspected rescue scam and investigate whether you can get your money back, notify the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council at 414-278-1240There is no charge for the Fair Housing Council’s help.

#ShowMeTheMoney: Credit Basics & Resources

Credit is money that you borrow and pay back over time with interest.

Your credit history is a record of what you have borrowed and how you have repaid it. Paying your creditors on time will help you to build a good credit record. Late or sporadic payments will result in a poor credit report.

In this #ShowMeTheMoney video, Sojourner Family Center explains how to build, improve, and access your personal credit.

You can find more resources on credit in our Money Smart Week Resource Guide.

#ShowMeTheMoney: ABLE Accounts for People with Disabilities

ABLE Accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities and their families. The ABLE Act limits eligibility to individuals with disabilities with an age of onset of disability before turning 26 years of age. If you meet this age requirement and are also receiving benefits under SSI and/or SSDI, you are automatically eligible to establish an ABLE account.

If you are not a recipient of SSI and/or SSDI but still meet the age of onset disability requirement, you could still be eligible to open an ABLE account if you meet Social Security’s definition and criteria regarding functional limitations and receive a letter of disability certification from a doctor.

As part of Bank On Greater Milwaukee’s ‘Show Me The Money’ series, UW Madison Extension shares the benefits of these accounts and how to open and use one successfully.

Learn more about ABLE accounts at www.ablenrc.org.

Your Smart Money Resource Guides – FREE Download

Every year, Bank On Greater Milwaukee updates and publishes this Resource Guide for Milwaukee-area residents and service providers, and distributes it throughout the community. It is available in English and Spanish and can be downloaded below as the full guide or by topic.

If you would like to request hard copies of this guide, contact Bank On Greater Milwaukee Program Director Constance Alberts at 414-562-9904 or constance@uedawi.org.

Your Smart Money Guide

A comprehensive resource for anyone looking for help with their personal finances. In this guide you’ll find information on a wide range of topics, plus trusted resources that can help. And be sure to scroll down to access specific topic pages.

Download full guide here

Topic Section

Community Resources for Managing Ups & Downs

How to Find a Safe & Affordable Account

Breaking the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle

What You Need to Know About Credit

Taxes Done Right | Teaching Your Kids About Money

Career Education

Building Blocks for a Secure Financial Future

Be a Savvy Consumer: Scams & Identity Theft

Risks of Payday Loans and Avoiding Scams

Housing & Home

Choosing An Account & Collecting Important Documents

Glossary of Financial Terms

Spending & Savings Plan form (fillable PDF)

Closing Out Financial Literacy Month 2023

As this month comes to a close, it’s important to remember that financial education is a year-round process. In fact, learning about personal finance is essential to ensure long-term financial health and success! To help with this endeavor, Bank On Greater Milwaukee is committed to providing resources and tools that help the community understand the importance of saving, budgeting, and investing.

One recent initiative we’ve been involved in is “Our Two Cents” by Teens. This program, sponsored by Bank On Greater Milwaukee member Summit Credit Union and partner Milwaukee Public Schools, provides a platform for high school students to share their personal experiences and insights on money management. These students created a newsletter to share valuable advice with their peers, such as the importance of creating a budget, establishing good credit, and building an emergency fund. They’ve also touched on important topics like the cost of higher education and how to avoid falling into debt.

One of the most important takeaways from “Our Two Cents” is the need for financial education to start early. By learning basic financial principles at a young age, students are better equipped to make smart financial decisions in the future. This is why we’ve made it a priority to partner with local schools and community organizations to provide financial literacy resources to students of all ages. View this inaugural newsletter here!

This month is also an important opportunity for each of us to reflect on our own financial situations and learn new strategies and tools to manage our finances more effectively. Financial literacy plays a critical role in overall financial health and stability, as it provides individuals with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions, set and achieve financial goals, avoid debt and financial pitfalls, and build long-term wealth.

Other recent posts that you may find helpful are our “10 Tips” blog, FDIC Play Money Smart game, and 2021 Financial Literacy Month Book Read list.

By promoting financial literacy, we can help individuals and families build stronger financial foundations and create more stable and prosperous futures. Here are a few websites and organizations that offer resources and tools to help individuals continue their financial literacy education:

  • MyMoney.gov: This website created by the US government provides a wealth of resources on personal finance topics, including budgeting, credit, investing, and retirement planning.
  • Money As You Grow: This website from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) provides resources, tips, and activities that can help parents and educators work with children to develop money skills, habits and attitudes.
  • The Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC): A government organization that coordinates financial education efforts across multiple agencies. Its website offers a variety of resources on topics such as managing credit, buying a home, and planning for retirement.
  • The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC): A financial education organization that offers a variety of resources and tools to help individuals improve their financial literacy, including online courses, workshops, and certifications.
  • “Financial Football”: This free interactive game created by Visa and the NFL teaches players about personal finance topics such as budgeting, saving, and credit management in a fun and engaging way. Players can choose their favorite NFL team and compete against the computer or against friends to answer financial literacy questions and move the ball down the field. By playing Financial Football, individuals can learn valuable financial skills while also having fun.

These are just a few examples of the many websites and organizations available to help individuals and families continue to build their financial knowledge and improve their overall financial health.  Although Financial Literacy Month may be ending, the need for financial education never stops!

#MSWIWeek: About Certified Accounts

Certified accounts are financial products that are designed to help consumers access safe and affordable banking products and services. They meet certain standards for safety, affordability, and transparency and can be particularly helpful to people with a limited or poor credit history. Certified accounts may include features such as low or no monthly fees, low minimum balance requirements, and no overdraft fees.

Bank On Greater Milwaukee works with local financial institutions to offer certified accounts that meet national standards set by the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund). The CFE Fund is a national organization that works to improve the financial stability of households by promoting safe and affordable banking products and services. To qualify as a Bank On certified account, financial institutions must meet the following standards:

1. Fees: Certified accounts must have no or low monthly maintenance fees, and no overdraft fees.

2. Minimum balance requirements: Certified accounts must have no minimum balance requirement or a low balance requirement of $25 or less.

3. Online bill pay: Certified accounts must offer free or low-cost online bill pay services.

4. ATM access: Certified accounts must offer free or low-cost ATM access at in-network ATMs.

5. Deposit insurance: Certified accounts must be FDIC-insured or NCUA-insured.

5 Reasons to Open a Certified Account

  1. Security: By opening a certified bank account, your money is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000. This means that even if the bank were to fail, your money would still be safe.
  2. Convenience: A certified bank account allows you to easily deposit and withdraw money, write checks, and pay bills online. You can also set up automatic payments for bills, making it easier to manage your finances.
  3. Credit: Having a certified bank account can help you establish credit, which is important if you plan to take out a loan or apply for a credit card in the future. Banks report your account activity to credit bureaus, which can help you build a positive credit history.
  4. Savings: Many certified bank accounts offer savings accounts with competitive interest rates. By opening a savings account, you can earn interest on your money and grow your savings over time.
  5. Access to Financial Services: Banks offer a wide range of financial services, including loans, credit cards, and investment accounts. By opening a certified bank account, you can gain access to these services and work towards your financial goals.

By working with local financial institutions to offer certified accounts, Bank On Milwaukee is helping to improve access to safe and affordable banking products and services for everyone in the community. These accounts can help people build their credit history, save money, and achieve greater financial stability.

During the week of April 15-21, 2023, Bank On Greater Milwaukee joins the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy and Capability and the WI Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) in celebrating Money Smart Week, a financial literacy awareness and education campaign (learn more here). We’re featuring posts with tips and resources on teaching kids about money, certified accounts, debt relief, employer retirement plans, and 529 savings plan.

#MSWIWeek: 529 Savings Plans: What They Are & What to Teach Kids

Saving for higher education and career training can be a daunting task, but a 529 savings plan can help make it easier. This education savings account that allows you to save for higher education expenses on a tax-advantaged basis. Wisconsin’s 529 plan is known as EdVest. In this article, we’ll explore five things to know about 529 savings plans and what you can teach your kids about them.

Tax Benefits: Contributions to a 529 savings plan grow tax-free, and withdrawals are also tax-free when used for qualified higher education expenses. This can lead to significant tax savings over time.

Flexible Use of Funds: Funds in a 529 savings plan can be used for a variety of qualified higher education expenses, including tuition, room and board, textbooks, and computers. In addition, some K-12 expenses may also be covered by a 529 savings plan.

No Income Restrictions: Anyone can contribute to a 529 savings plan, regardless of income. This makes it a great option for families of all income levels.

Low Minimum Contribution Requirements: 529 savings plans have low minimum contribution requirements, making it easy to start saving for your child’s education.

Investment Options: 529 savings plans offer a variety of investment options, including age-based portfolios and individual fund portfolios. This allows you to choose an investment strategy that aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance.

To learn more, check out these popular resources from EdVest>>

What to Teach Your Kids

It’s never too early to start teaching your kids about the importance of saving for higher education or career training. Here are some things you can teach your kids about 529 savings plans such as EdVest:

1) The Importance of Education: Explain to your kids why higher education is important and how it can help them achieve their future goals.

2) The Power of Saving: Teach your kids the importance of saving and how even small contributions can add up over time.

3) Encourage Them to Save: Encourage your kids to save their own money for higher education expenses and match their contributions to a 529 savings plan.

4) Teach Them About Investing: As your kids get older, teach them about investing and how to choose an investment strategy that aligns with their financial goals and risk tolerance.

5) Make it Fun: Saving for college doesn’t have to be boring. Make it fun by setting goals, tracking progress, and celebrating milestones along the way. Edvest has a tool to help families get a quick estimate of approximately how much you’ll need to save using the Edvest Estimate Savings Calculator Tool.

In conclusion, 529 savings plans are a great option for families looking to save for higher education expenses on a tax-advantaged basis. By understanding the benefits of 529 savings plans and teaching your kids about the importance of higher education and saving, you can set them up for a successful future.

Learn more about Wisconsin’s 529 plan, Edvest.

During the week of April 15-21, 2023, Bank On Greater Milwaukee joins the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy and Capability and the WI Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) in celebrating Money Smart Week, a financial literacy awareness and education campaign (learn more here). We’re featuring posts with tips and resources on teaching kids about money, certified accounts, debt relief, employer retirement plans, and 529 savings plan.

10 Tips to Celebrate Financial Literacy Month and #MSWIWeek

April is Financial Literacy Month, a time to focus on the importance of financial education and the role it plays in creating a more financially secure future for individuals and families. During this month, organizations like Bank On Greater Milwaukee strive to promote financial literacy and encourage individuals to make financial decisions that help them meet their financial goals.

Families can take advantage of Financial Literacy Month to learn about creating a spending plan, the importance of starting a savings account, and discussing the value of money with children; and how to  develop healthy financial habits that will benefit them in the future.

Two resources to help you get started are the Bank On Greater Milwaukee Resource Guide or this Financial Wellness Checklist from the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

It provides a great opportunity for families to learn more about personal finance and develop healthy financial habits. Here are some ways families can learn during Financial Literacy Month:

1)  Open a Bank Account:  One way to ensure financial security is by opening a safe, affordable bank account. Bank On Greater Milwaukee works with lenders who have Bank On certified accounts, which offer benefits such as no overdraft fees, free or low-cost check cashing, and no minimum balance requirements. By opening a certified account, individuals can take a step towards building financial stability.

2)  Play financial games like Monopoly: During the game, explain what interest is on any “loans”.

3)  Learn at the grocery store: Use cash for your next grocery trip, create a budget beforehand, and have your kids help you stick to it by making sure you don’t overspend.

4)  Do a family vision board: Create a financial vision board as a family, and include pictures and goals that represent your family’s financial aspirations.

5)  Track spending for a month: Show your kids how the money spent on everyday things adds up.

6)  Do money challenges for the month: For example, no spending on non-essentials, empty your pockets every day and put the change in a jar. Explain how much you will be saving just by putting your change into the jar.

7)  Open a Wisconsin 529 savings account: Open a savings account for your child and explain what it is. Wisconsin’s 529 plan (known as EdVest) allows families to save for their child’s college education with tax advantages. Learn more here.

8)  Use a retirement calculator: Explain the importance of saving for retirement. Share how saving a small amount of money like $50 can grow in 50 years. Also, consider tools to learn more such as a retirement calculator.

9)  Teach about interest: This small activity can help – give them a jar of coins and offer them the option of either keeping the jar as it is or investing the coins for interest. If they choose to invest, you can agree on a reasonable interest rate and time frame for the investment. At the end of the agreed-upon period, you can give them their original investment plus the interest earned. This activity helps kids understand how interest works and the benefits of saving for the long term.

10) Explain how taxes work: Start by explaining that taxes are fees that everyone pays to the government to help pay for things we all use like schools, roads, trash and recycling collection, and other public services. You can also use practical examples, like pointing out the taxes on a restaurant bill or showing them how taxes are deducted from a paycheck.

For more resources and learning, check out the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Money As You Grow site, which includes links to games, books, and activities for any age.

Financial Literacy Month is a great opportunity to increase your financial knowledge and encourage individuals to make financial decisions that lead to better savings, improved credit scores, long-term goals like a home purchase, affordable credit terms to buy cars, or start a business. By taking steps towards financial security, individuals can achieve their financial goals and create a more stable future for themselves and their families.

Spending Money can be fun… 
Let’s make plans to have more fun not just today but tomorrow!

During the week of April 15-21, 2023, Bank On Greater Milwaukee joins the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy and Capability and the WI Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) in celebrating Money Smart Week, a financial literacy awareness and education campaign (learn more here). We’re featuring posts with tips and resources on teaching kids about money, certified accounts, debt relief, employer retirement plans, and 529 savings plan.