WASHINGTON (12/30/08)--Martin Eakes, president/CEO of Self-Help CU in Durham, N.C., was recently named to AARP
’s “Ten Who Inspire” list. The list includes:
* Actress Glenn Close, mental health advocate; * Alma Powell, children’s advocate; * Katherine Freund, transportation advocate; * Musician Quincy Jones, global poverty fighter; * Rose Nakamura, compassionate caregiver; * Eakes; * Actor Peter Gallagher, Alzheimer’s activist; * David E. Hayes-Bautista, Ph.D, Latino health researcher; * Richard Cohen, voice for the chronically ill; and * Susan Love, M.D., cancer crusader.
Eakes was noted for his work at Self-Help, which serves low-income individuals. AARP
said the credit union has a default rate of less than 1%. “If I have a choice between making a loan to a rich person or one to a poor person, solely on grounds of credit risk, I’ll pick a poor person every time,” Eakes told AARP
in its January issue. “They simply take care of their debts better.” Eakes started the credit union in 1984. Since then, it has provided more than $5 billion in loans to homeowners, non profits and small businesses. He led a fight for the state’s anti-predatory lending law in 1999 as founders for the Center for Responsible Lending, and has warned federal legislators that poor financial practices would trigger foreclosures. He is currently working to make sure the subprime meltdown doesn’t hurt those most at risk. “We’ve got proof that families of limited financial means will be incredibly great borrowers if given the chance,” Eakes told the magazine. To read the full AARP
article, use the link.