Be The Beacon For Members In Need

Credit unions across the U.S. have products and programs that help members achieve life goals, improve their finances, and make responsible decisions.

The holidays are upon us, which means turkey, tinsel, and New Year’s resolutions. How many people will vow to eat better, exercise more, and take better care of their credit? The lucky members of the credit unions profiled this week on have a partner in place for that resolution.

In May 2013, published a map that shows the distribution of average credit scores across the country.


Courtesy of

Interestingly, according to the map, there is only 44 points between the lowest average 613, Mississippi and the highest 657, Massachusetts. And this week, is looking at credit unions that have launched programs and products to help financially distressed members that fall more in the former category than the latter.

The week kicks off with a look at Pacific Marine and America’s First credit unions. Long before Congress passed the Military Lending Act to defend service members from predatory lenders, Pacific Marine was offering an arsenal of loan products and financial education targeted at helping young Marines avoid what the credit union’s chief of staff, Brad Smith, calls the death roll that can come with patronizing payday and title lenders. The products are often not profitable for PMCU, Smith says, but they serve their purpose for those who serve. Learn more about PMCU’s Ready Cash Loan, shared secure VISA card, share-builder loan, and more today.

Although there are numerous benefits at both the state and national level from the Department of Veterans Affairs, transitional and unexpected expenses can stand in the way of a seamless transition back to civilian life. To address those needs, America’s Credit Union partners with the Veterans Family Fund to offer a certificate of deposit that allows members to donate a potion of the earned interest tax-free. To date, members have donated more than $2,500 to the Fund. Learn more today.

Coming out of the recession, Charlotte Metro members had problems similar to people all over the country.

People were struggling, says Susan Coughlin, assistant vice president of member resource and retention. We were looking for ways to help people on the bubble, people who had been doing well but now were struggling to keep their accounts intact.

So the credit union launched an in-house, one-on-one counseling program in 2011 that is geared toward determining the root cause of debt and breaking the cycle. Learn more about ways in which you can give members a second chance.

Even in areas that been largely insulated from the highs and lows that have hit other markets such as Poughkeepsie, NY, which is located approximately 80 miles north of New York City and is the home of Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union a combination of economic, job, and financial education challenges keep Americans from achieving homeownership. That’s why for more than half a decade, HVFCU has offered a savings account for potential homebuyers that matches $4 for every $1 deposited. Sound too good to be true? Learn more about Hudson Valley’s First Home Club today.

Finally, for all those people who still aren’t quite sure what’s in a credit score?, Callahan analyst Janet Lee breaks down the ever-allusive number. It even breaks out the average credit score by age. Check out the Graphic Of The Week today.

November 10, 2014

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