Credit uniоnѕ сеrtаinlу hаvе fewer lосаtiоnѕ аnd are lеѕѕ соmmоn than banks. Thаt doesn’t mean that they offer ѕеrviсеѕ оf a lower quality, though. Consider the аdvаntаgеѕ оffеrеd bу сrеdit uniоnѕ tо understand what differences thеrе are between them аnd traditional banks.
Whо owns a сrеdituniоn?
A grоuр оf invеѕtоrѕ are the owners оf a bаnk, аnd аѕ ѕuсh thеу аrе responsible fоr dесiѕiоn rеgаrding business роliсiеѕ аnd аdminiѕtrаtiоn. Thеѕе same сhоiсеѕ аffесt thе ability оf thе invеѕtоrѕ tо mаkе money frоm thе invеѕtmеnt thеу have made in thе bаnk. Cоnvеrѕеlу, credit uniоnѕ are оwnеd bу thеir members and thе dесiѕiоnѕ making bоаrd mеmbеrѕ аrе vоluntееrѕ thаt givе оf thеir timе on bеhаlf of оthеr mеmbеrѕ. Still, еасh mеmbеr оf thе сrеdit union саn vоtе оn the роliсу that iѕ to bе followed ѕinсе it will affect thеir mоnеу. (more…)
Ever since currency became the preferred method of acquiring goods and services, there have been banks to store all of your money for you. Today, we go to the bank nearly every week to interact with our funds. We deal with strange fees, policies, and programs without giving a second thought to the notion that there could be another solution. Perhaps there could even be a better way to take care of your hard-earned capital. Indeed, credit unions have begun to take the rein of the money management industry, providing customer across the country with a new way to store their money without the same headaches.
On Wednesday, September 14, the Bradley Initiative Credit Union will officially change its name to Smart Choice Credit Union. The ceremony will be held at the credit union, also served as the launch for 2 new programs that reflect a renewed emphasis on financial literacy and asset development.
The first program, Emergency First, champions the need for everyone to have an emergency fund that allows unforeseen financial needs to be met. It involves a 3 way partnership in savings between the credit union member, their employer, and the credit union over a 10 month time period. Each month the member saves $30, the employer matches that savings with $15, and the credit union matches it with $5. After 10 months the member has a $500 emergency fund that they are encouraged to maintain and grow. The member agrees to complete a 9 week session of Financial Peace, a nationally recognized financial literacy curriculum. Their matching money is deposited after the member has completed the class and has saved their money over the 10 month time period. Ed McIntire, Smart Choice board chairman, states, “The idea for Emergency First came from an article in the Banner several months ago that stated that 3 of 4 American families are not equipped to handle a $1000 financial emergency. Unfortunately, as well, Tennessee leads the nation in personal bankruptcy filings. These bankruptcies are often times the result of unforeseen circumstances. We want to help our members avoid that fate.”
The second program, Rate Blitz, also encourages completion of the Financial Peace literacy course. After the member completes Financial Peace, the credit union decreases the interest rate on their loan by 4%. The interest rate decline applies to their entire loan up to $10,000 with the lowest rate possible being 5%. For many members the rate cut is a huge savings. Denis Collins, Smart Choice manager and CEO since its inception, remarks, “Rate Blitz reflects our seriousness about the importance of financial literacy. Everyone, regardless of economic status, can benefit from Financial Peace.”
Call Denis, Diane, or Linda at (423) 559-1181 regarding the above programs or with any other questions.
If you have a loan with us and complete our Financial literacy Course SCCU will reduce your interest rate on your loan by 4%. There are certain exceptions, call us to ask for the details.