New certification

New certification

Smart Choice Credit Union achieves new certification

Special to the Banner

Smart Choice Credit Union has recently been certified as a Minority Depository Institution.

Smart Choice was originally chartered as Bradley Initiative Credit Union in 2003; since its opening in March of 2003, it has been designated as a low-income Community Development Financial Institution.

According to Denis L. .Collins, CEO of Smart Choice Credit Union, to be considered a Minority Depository Institution, one must have a majority of its current or potential membership composed of Minorities (in this case Black American, Hispanic American, Asian American, or Native American).

“To be designated as a low-income designated credit union it must meet certain criteria,” Collins said. “This designation gives these credit unions a greater ability to help stimulate economic growth and provide affordable financial services in communities that have been historically underserved.”

To qualify as a low-income credit union a majority of its membership must meet certain low-income thresh- olds based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“This designation offers several ben- efits for credit unions that qualify, including the ability to obtain supplemental capital from organizations, such as banks and outside investments,” Collins said. “To be designated as a Community Development Financial Institution one must focus primarily on personal lending and business development efforts in poorer local communities requiring revitalization in the U.S.”

Collins said Smart Choice currently has assets of $3.6 million.

“In 2020 we made 217 loans for a total of $1.2 million to the underserved citizens of Cleveland,” he said. “If anyone would like to make a contribution to our efforts in serving our community, please consider our credit union.” For more information about how Smart Choice has helped Cleveland, call (423) 559-1181 or visit,123369