ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (8/19/13)--U.S. New Mexico FCU in Albuquerque has 10 programs to help members of modest means (MOMS) or who have damaged credit ratings gain footholds in obtaining credit under good terms.
About a year ago, the $725 million asset credit union received a call from a former member who had moved to Alaska and bought a car. Because his credit rating wasn't stellar, he was forced to pay a 23.9% interest rate on the loan through the corporate credit arm of his vehicle's manufacturer (Albuquerque Business First Aug. 16).
In response to his plight, the credit union offered the man a car loan at roughly half the interest rate (12.9%) he was paying, through one of its MOMS programs, USNMFCU Marketing Manager Phil Forbert told the publication.
In the past three to four years, the credit union has assigned 30% to 40% of its loans to members with low credit scores--a practice that is part of the objectives and goals of the company, he added.
The Credit Union National Association awarded USNMFCU a national award for it MOMS work in November 2012. It was the one credit union in the nation to receive the Credit Union Excellence in Lending Low/Modest Means Lending Award, Forbert told the publication.
Some mainstays of the credit union's efforts include a skip-a-payment program started about four years ago and a Tiers 3-5 lending program. That program provides credit to members who lack credit histories, but who have strong employment records and no major derogatory payments and who have good payment histories, Forbert added.