LONGVIEW, Texas (3/21/12)--For Telco Plus CU in Longview, Texas, 2011 was about helping its members get through the recession, according to a local newspaper article.
"The recession affected us because it affected our members," Betty Deweese, Telco Plus president/CEO, told Longview's News-Journal newspaper (LoneStar Leaguer March 20).
Many people in the community lost their jobs or were forced to take a pay cut, as the recession ran it course, making it tougher for residents to fulfill their financial obligations and maintain good credit scores.
"We spent a lot of our time working with these members to help improve their credit and educate them about what makes their credit, so they know it gives them a better interest rate to take care of their credit," Deweese told the paper. "We also did a lot of home equity loans to help people consolidate higher interest rate credit card balances."
Telco Plus channeled substantial effort into educating the community about credit unions, Deweese told the paper.
"We are trying to get more staff involved in the community, so people know we are here and we are available, and more importantly, that we want to help," she added.
In addition to increased marketing, the credit union has also tried to get more involved in the Longview and Tyler communities, Deweese told the paper. Those efforts included attending Chamber of Commerce functions, getting involved in the Better Business Bureau and charitable organizations, and continuing its involvement with March of Dimes.
Telco Plus also hosted a "Reality Fair" at Pine Tree Junior High School to teach students about real-world finances.