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.