Credit Unions in the News

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WISN 12 news takes part in ‘magic of storytelling’ initiative04/28/2016Educators Credit Union and WISN 12 News, the local ABC-affiliate, are working together to help deliver thousands of new books to local children as part of Magic of Storytelling initiative. Books will be donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Milwaukee as well as, nine other organizations.  “There's something so powerful about being given a brand new book,” commented Patricia Marcus of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee. 

Eau Claire’s Royal Credit Union acquiring small bank in Twin Cities04/28/2016Royal Credit Union of Eau Claire, WI, plans to acquire Capital Bank of St. Paul, MN. Once the merger goes through, it'll be the ninth time a credit union has purchased a bank since 2011. A growing trend in some states. "Capital Bank is known as the 'community bank within the city,' and we feel its current customers will be pleased by our commitment to providing exceptional financial value, great service and community giveback where the member comes first," summarized Royal Credit Union president/CEO Rudy Pereira. 

Students learn financial reality04/25/2016The Northwest Credit Union Foundation and St. Helens Community Credit Union hosted a financial reality fair for local high school seniors. The fair gave students the opportunity to “quickly learn that the decisions they make today can directly affect their future,” explained St. Helens Community president and CEO Brooke Van Vleet. 

Fixing your finances: tips for first time home buyers04/21/2016Buying your first home can be a bit daunting - that's why AmeriChoice Federal Credit Union marketing director Brittney Monteith offers advice to potential homebuyers. Monteith suggests buyers think about the geographic and economic stability when looking to buy. Think about if you're able to live in that home for at least 5-7 years in order to build up equity. Finally, make sure to get pre-approval before beginning your search - which will tell you how much home you can afford.

Safe at home: small credit union dodge rule requiring office space04/21/2016It appears that the NCUA recognizes the role home-based credit unions play in their local communities and does not intend to add even more regulatory burden to these small credit unions. There are about 85 home-based credit unions in America and these small institutions provide financial options for those in rural areas while offering world-class customer service - some are even open to members 24/7! The paper points out that unlike banks, credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives whose members share a common bond through a job, church, family relationship or some other kind of affiliation.

New business spotlight: Centex Citizens Credit Union dedicated to helping people04/17/2016Centex Citizens Credit Union brings a futuristic, state-of-the-art branch to Corsicana, TX. The branch offers cutting edge technology that includes teller pods and cash recycling machines. Not only is the branch being forward looking and innovative with technology, they're also helping to best serve their members. “We want to help all families, individuals and especially people of modest means with free checking, savings, CD's and mortgage loans,” explained Centex Citizens Credit Union Corsicana branch manager Debbie Wilson.

Credit unions vs. banks: which are better?04/13/2016Money Talks News looks into the pros and cons between credit unions and banks. Credit unions pay more on savings, charge less on loans (especially car loans), and offer lower rates on credit cards. In addition, they offer more flexibility on lending and have free checking accounts. In sum, if you want to earn more and pay less, you should head to a credit union!  

2016 banking landscape report04/08/2016Credit unions top the list for best value in checking by WalletHub. Credit unions had the highest ranking in WalletHub's checking report, gaining 1.47% in the first quarter of 2016. WalletHub analyzed the rates, fees and features of more than 2,300 accounts in checking, savings, money market, and CDs from banks and credit unions all shapes and sizes. 

Apple Pay adds another 32 banks and credit unions across the US04/05/2016Apple Pay adds more credit unions to their list of Apple Pay providers. This week fourteen more credit unions joined Apple's mobile payment solution. Members can now add their credit union debit and credit cards to their Apple Wallet on their phones. 

Credit unions putting a special emphasis on children’s programs for handling finances04/03/2016Credit unions stress the importance of providing financial education to children during National Credit Union Youth Month. In particular, Coosa Valley Credit Union and Northwest Georgia Credit Union offer programs for parents and schools to use when teaching children the basic concepts of finance. Coosa Valley Credit Union has a 'Savings Crew' club for children under the age of 12, which offer workbooks and videos to introduce them to the basic concepts of finance. Northwest Georgia Credit Union, which was honored the 2015 Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award for their financial literacy initiatives, developed and copyrighted a financial literacy program for local schools titled “learn.grow.” 

Midstate credit unions partner on financial literacy children’s book04/01/2016Central Pennsylvania credit unions are providing a financial literacy book to coincide with start of 'Financial Literacy Month' this April. The children's book 'Boxcar Indy Goes to Doggy World' written by Tracey C. Jones is being distributed to mid-state credit unions. “Our goal with 'Boxcar Indy Goes to Doggy World' is to show kids that saving money and investing is achievable,” explained Mid-Atlantic Corporate Federal Credit Union president/CEO Jay Murray. “By providing financial literacy tools like this one, credit unions can help children - our future members - learn to manage their finances, but in a fun way.”

More community bank takeovers by large credit unions are likely03/30/2016More banking customers are becoming credit union members due to what some believe is a trend within a trend: large credit unions taking over smaller community banks. Wisconsin's largest credit union Landmark Credit Union acquired Hartford Savings Bank in 2014, helping to raising awareness of credit unions in the area. Advia Credit Union in Michigan recently announced plans to take over Mid America Bank. Once the acquisition is final, it'll be the eighth time a credit union has purchased a bank since 2011. "This is not slowing down," said Michael M. Bell, a mergers-and-acquisitions specialist who represents credit unions with the firm Howard & Howard in Royal Oak, Mich. "It's a trend both nationally, but certainly in the Midwest and Wisconsin."

Credit union CEO: ‘Someone invested in me’03/26/2016Cornerstone Community Financial Credit Union president/CEO Heidi Kassab explains how a summer clerical position helped mold her career. Kassab was offered a job by her former Brownie troop leader Judith Hellock, who, at the time, was the credit union's CFO. Kassab still keeps in touch with Hellock and credits her career accomplishments to her mentorship. "I remember going to the edge of the desk and touching it, and thinking: 'Wow, one day this could be me'" said Kassab. Banking Rates explains why consumers in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. should finance their auto loans through a credit union. Credit union members receive lower rates, cash back rewards, and a more personal customer service experience. 

What are Georgia’s best credit unions?03/23/2016Credit union membership in Georgia soars as it reaches the 2.1 million mark. The Atlanta Business Chronicle and Georgie Credit Union Affiliates put together a list of the top 25 credit unions in the state. 

Local woman makes corporate giving a priority03/22/2016America's First FCU philanthropy and community relations manager Jimese Harkley emphasizes the importance of giving. Harkley started the “Community First Campaign” in 2014 which focuses on giving time and money to the Alabama communities America's First FCU serves. The campaign has raised $50,000 for local charities in Birmingham, Ala.

Fixing your finances: Helping students learn financial skills03/17/2016White Rose CU Vice President of Human Resources Tamika Baker discusses fun ways to get kids engaged in money. Baker mentions the CUNA financial education game, Mad City Money, as a great resource. The program is a financial simulation game that teaches students how to spend, save, and budget for a particular item.

Banks and credit unions: significant differences?03/15/2016Banks and credit unions offer the same type of financial services however, their differences lie in their structure. "At a bank, you're a customer because banks are for-profit. When a credit union makes money, we generally give it back to the members, whereas a bank gives it to the shareholders,” explained Bellco FCU CEO Tom Gosling.  

Minority Chamber of Commerce plans to launch Youth Entrepreneurs Council03/15/2016The educational and inspiring message of Biz Kid$ is coming to Tallahassee, Fla. Tallahassee-Leon FCU is partnering with the Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce to launch a new Youth Entrepreneur Council. The council is geared to help young people turn bright ideas into potential startups with the support of Biz Kid$ DVDs, encouragement, and networking opportunities.

Greg McBride: A free-checking road map03/15/2016Credit unions expand free checking to members, while banks cut back on the complimentary service. In a new Bankrate survey, 76% of credit unions now offer free checking vs. 37% of banks.