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Leagues support Invest in America plan
MADISON, Wis. (1/9/09)--Several state credit union leagues have announced their support of the “Invest in America” credit union loan partnerships between America’s Credit Unions and automakers General Motors (GM) and Chrysler Corporation LLC. The partnerships were expanded to all 50 states, it was announced Wednesday. The Invest in America programs will provide 90 million credit union members across the country with access to GM's “Credit Union Member Discount Program” at participating GM dealers, and Chrysler’s “Credit Union Members Cash” rebates at Chrysler dealers. They also will provide access to affordable financing on new vehicle purchases (News Now Jan. 8). Pennsylvania’s 600 credit unions joined the expanded program, which now encompasses nearly 8,000 credit unions nationwide and makes more than $80 billion in credit union low-cost auto loans available for new vehicle purchases, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) said. “Since our founding after the Great Depression, the mission of credit unions has been to provide affordable credit and financial services to Americans,” said PCUA President/CEO Jim McCormack. “Through this partnership with GM and Chrysler, more than 3.3 million members in Pennsylvania will have to opportunity to save money when purchasing and financing new vehicles. It’s truly a win-win for the automakers, auto dealers, and credit union members. “In our tough economy, I encourage all consumers to consider belonging to a credit union to save their hard-earned money,” he added. Nebraska’s 70 credit unions also announced they joined the expanded program. “Credit unions have always provided the hardworking men and women of this country with high-quality, low-cost financial services in both good and bad economic times,” said Scott Sullivan, Nebraska Credit Union League president/CEO. “The Invest in America program is a natural extension of the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people’ by adding value to one of a credit union’s cornerstone products--car loans for 420,000 Nebraska credit union members, while supporting the auto industry in Nebraska and ultimately our nation’s economy,” he added. The Louisiana Credit Union League is encouraging credit unions in the state to take part in the program. “This is a fantastic opportunity for both your members and your credit union,” the league said in a press release. “It also speaks highly of credit unions finding solutions for their members and our local economies during this financial crisis.” “New Jersey’s credit unions are in a good position to stimulate consumer lending,” said Paul Gentile, New Jersey Credit Union League president/CEO. “We hope many of the state’s credit unions embrace this program and that New Jersey credit union members take advantage of the financing and vehicle incentives these programs offer to credit union members. “There has never been a better time to join a credit union in New Jersey,” he added. “Our credit unions continue to find new ways to meet the savings and lending needs of their members and provide the outstanding service credit unions are known for.” The Ohio Credit Union League is encouraging member credit unions to share their success stories involving the program (eLumination Jan. 7). The league was one of the four Midwest states in the original pilot of the program with GM. “The Invest in America program continues to garner media attention throughout Ohio and the nation,” the league said in its newsletter. “Members of the media are interested in speaking to credit union members that have taken advantage of the exclusive vehicle discount programs with General Motors and Chrysler. If a member of your credit union has purchased a vehicle using one of the discounts and would be willing to be interviewed, please contact [us]. The new expanded program is a great fit for Massachusetts credit unions, said Dan Egan, president of the Massachusetts Credit Union League (E-Weekly Jan. 8). “Credit unions have always been a vital part of their communities, and this new initiative, ‘Invest in America,’ is an example of how the cooperative nature of credit unions benefits the local, state and national economies,” Egan said. Arizona’s 54 credit unions also joined the expanded program. “The potential of the program is exciting,” said Arizona Credit Union League CEO Scott Earl. “This is an opportunity to offer Arizona’s 1.6 million credit union members greater purchasing power and opportunities during economic hard times. Credit unions are safe and strong and in a position to lend money. This is a chance to help move the economy forward.” The Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) and Wisconsin Credit Union League also announced they are supporting the program. “These vehicle-purchase discounts demonstrate how credit unions can help their members in a stressed economy,” said Rosie Holub, Missouri Credit Union Association president/CEO. “Credit unions have money to lend and can extend credit to consumers while other lenders are tightening credit access. This is just another example of the credit union difference” (The Missouri difference Jan. 7). “Credit union members can feel good knowing they’re saving money through these offers, but also because they’re helping to reinvigorate the auto industry--a vital part of the U.S. economy,” said Wisconsin league president/ CEO Brett Thompson. He added that auto lending has always been credit unions’ “bread and butter.” “In a down economy, more people are looking at used cars or simply not buying,” Thompson said. “So credit unions--which don’t chase profits--provide an obvious solution to helping people opt for a new vehicle simply because the rates credit unions can offer will give consumers more car for their money.”
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