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Community Programs

If you are having trouble getting a bank account, are new to Canada, or just need help starting or resetting your path to financial health, we offer several assistance programs.


Asset Building Programs

There's more to overcoming poverty than just having an income. In partnership with SEED Winnipeg and United Way of Winnipeg there are three Asset Building Programs that can help you save for things like furniture, tuition, or to purchase your own home. Our role is to provide funding and a special Matched Savings Account for participants to use.

Here are the three types of Asset Building Programs offered by ACU and our partners:

Savings Circle

This six month program is available to anyone living on a low income. It features a full 10 weeks of money management training, and it will help you start to save money. Using those funds, the partnership will match your savings 3:1. That means every $1 you save, the program matches by $3. If you save the maximum allowable $250, you'll end up with $1,000 to purchase an asset that will better your life.

To find out more about the Savings Circle, including program requirements and start times, please contact one of our program partners listed below in Learn More.

Individual Development Account (IDA)

This two year program allows you to save for tuition, disability support or start or grow a business. You must be living in a low-income household and have completed the 10-week Savings Circle program. Once you have completed the IDA program, your savings are matched 2:1, which means for every $1 you save, the partnership provides $2. You can save a maximum of $1,000, giving you a total of $ 3,000 towards your savings goal.

If you'd like to learn more about the Individual Development Account, including its requirements and start times, please contact one of our program partners listed below in Learn More.

Inner City Homebuyer Plan

This program helps those living on a low income to save for a deposit on an inner-city house. It offers 1:1 savings matching. If you save the maximum of $7,000, you’ll end up with $14,000 for your deposit.

To learn more about this program, please contact SEED Winnipeg at 204.927.9935


Organization  Phone Who they serve
204-477-1722 Youth aged 18 - 29 
204-786-5741 ext. 226
Villa Rosa residents
204-925-0330 Indigenous peoples
204-589-4433 Urban Circle students
204-938-5900
204-233-1735 Francophone community 
204-927-9947
204-975-3103 People living with a disability
Thompson Neighbourhood Renewal Corp 204-677-0760

Organization  Phone Who they serve

204-927-9947 Youth aged 18 - 29 

204-975-3103 People living with a disability

204-943-8765 Newcomers


Community Partner Referral program

Our Community Referral Program helps participants of local service organizations who are referred to ACU for banking services. We can assist you with account opening, learning about savings, or by providing some practical knowledge about banking. We help all kinds of people, in all sorts of circumstances, and we're happy to do it.

If you or someone you know could use a little help with their banking needs, please contact one of our Community Referral Partners listed below in Learn more.

New to Canada program

If you’ve been in Canada for less than 5 years, we can help you set up your Canadian banking. This package is for people who have never had an account with us before. It includes:

Chequing account

  • No Canadian credit history needed
  • No monthly fees for a year
  • Free book of cheques

Car loan

  • No Canadian credit history needed
  • Borrow up to $30,000
  • Must have 6 months of employment history in Canada
  • Must have a 25% down payment

Newcomer mortgage

  • Purchase a home with a minimum down payment, starting at 5%
  • Different sources of payment history will be considered

Credit card

*The Collabria Visa Card is issued by Collabria Financial Services Inc. pursuant to a license from Visa.* Trademarks of Visa Int., used under license.


Safety deposit box
  • Free safety deposit box for one year

If you're a landed immigrant, international student, refugee or foreign worker, visit any ACU branch and bring your Permanent Resident Card or Temporary Permit as well as your other standard ID. We’ll help you get started.

Other services for Newcomers:

Help to re-establish your career in Manitoba

Recognition Counts, a partnership between ACU and SEED Winnipeg, gives low-cost loans to help you pay for any qualifications, exams or studies you need to take in order to work in your field.

Canadian banking system training

If you are a newcomer and have banking experience, you can attend a paid, four-week program that will introduce you to Canadian culture and the Canadian banking system. Then, you will be given a full-time, paid work assignment at a bank. If you do well during the program, you may be offered a permanent job!

This program is open to 8-10 newcomers at a time, and is offered by ACU along with Manitoba Start and the Province of Manitoba.

Home ownership for Muslims

We understand that traditional banking can be a barrier to owning a home for our Muslim members, so we partnered with the Manitoba Islamic Association to create an Islamic Mortgage.

SEED Winnipeg RESP Referral program

A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) gives you a practical plan to help you reach your child's education savings goal. SEED Winnipeg provides hands-on support for opening your RESP and applying for any special benefits your child may qualify for.

Is your son or daughter a graduate of the Community Schools Investigators (CSI) summer enrichment program? They may have earned a $400 bursary for every year they attended! Talk to SEED to find out if your child qualifies, and how much money they might have earned.

For more information, contact SEED at 204.927.9945 or email csi@seedwinnipeg.ca.

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