4 benefits of using a credit union

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2013
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

BY MANDY JONES

My mentor was my dad, who owned a small business in Milwaukie, Oregon. He taught me the importance of businesses being involved in their community and the joy of making a difference in people’s lives. He was not surprised when I chose to work in credit unions. Today I’m CEO of Oregon’s second largest state-chartered credit union, and I love going to work every day, making a difference in the lives of our members, employees and the communities we serve.

Credit unions have been so focused on serving communities and providing excellent financial services to members that we have failed to tell our story — who we are and what makes us different. Here are some key facts I hope you find interesting.

1. We are people helping people.

Many credit unions were started by pioneer member-owners who began the business in the garage of someone’s home and pooled their funds in a shoebox. The focus was always clear: providing access to credit for people who could not seem to get it at the local bank. Fast forward and today you find 71 Oregon credit unions and thousands of stories annually about members who need help — and get it —from their credit union.

Even in this tough economy, credit unions understand that “bad things happen to good members.” In the last three years, credit unions have continued to loan and work diligently to help members who have lost their jobs to keep their autos and stay in their homes. These efforts have helped stabilize families during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

At Oregon Community, we helped more than 500 members in 2012 alone with special workout loans that adjusted rates or payments on auto loans and mortgages.

2. It’s all about the members.

Credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives. That means everyone who becomes a member owns a piece of the rock. No shareholders. No paid board of directors focused on profits. Every decision the credit union board and management makes takes members into consideration first. Decisions such as convenience, rates, branches, technology, products and services are all made to support the needs of the membership. Over a million residents in Oregon belong to a locally owned credit union, and that number is growing.

3. Everybody benefits.

Credit unions are a positive influence on all financial services in the communities where they do business. Here in Oregon, credit unions hold a small percent of market share, but even so, we effectively help to control costs and maintain the rate environment for everyone. Research shows that when credit unions are in a market, all loan and deposit rates are positively impacted.

In 2012 Oregon credit unions put more than $110 million back into the pockets of members as a result of lower loan rates, free checking, higher rates on savings and other benefits. That works out to an average of $152 per credit union household. That’s real money our members didn’t spend to get access to vital services like credit and a safe place to keep savings. Given the cost of groceries or gas these days, that’s a great reason to be a credit union member.

4. “Community” is our middle name.

Credit unions have a well-deserved reputation for superior service and being the kinder, gentler financial institutions. But it’s not just our members who benefit. Community service is in our DNA. For example, Oregon Community Credit Union is the single largest corporate scholarship sponsor at the University of Oregon. UO is where our membership started. Our members believe in supporting education, so it only makes sense to give back through scholarships for Oregonians, many of whom are the first of their families ever to go to college. Along with supporting other scholarship programs in 2012, Oregon Community also donated over half a million dollars, and our employees volunteered over 2,000 hours to help our members have the opportunity to live in a vibrant and prospering community by supporting many nonprofits.

The simple truth is 1.3 million Oregonians have figured out that being a member-owner of a credit union is their first choice when it comes to financial services.

0613 BOB FinanceMandy Jones is CEO of Oregon Community Credit Union.

 

Comments   

 
Guest
+1 #1 Couldn't agree more!Guest 2013-06-19 18:18:04
Credit unions are the best kept secret in the financial world. I work with college students and many of them do not know about credit unions and the lower fees and greater access to services they can get by joining one. Too many have their limited funds deposited in a traditional bank account that charges them additional fees for services that are free at a credit union.
Thank you for printing this article.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Preserving the Legacy

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A New York floral and gift business takes on the iconic Harry & David brand.


Read more...

Money Troubles

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY DAN COOK

The state’s angel investing fund gets hammered in Salem.


Read more...

Balancing Act

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY DAN COOK

The Affordable Care Act has triggered a rush on health care plan redesign, a process fraught with hidden costs and consequences.


Read more...

Getting What You Pay For

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Chris Maples, president of the Oregon Institute of Technology.


Read more...

The 10 most successful crowdfunding campaigns in Oregon

The Latest
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
081915-crowdfundingmainBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

One of the hottest new investment trends has proven quite lucrative for some companies.


Read more...

Photo Log: Waterfront Blues Festival

The Latest
Thursday, July 09, 2015
bluesfestthumbBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The sweltering weather didn't keep the crowds away. Although the numbers were down slightly from last year, the Oregon Food Bank raised $850,636 to fight hunger.  About 80,000 people attended despite temperatures in the upper 90s.


Read more...

Department of Self-Promotion

Linda Baker
Tuesday, August 04, 2015

061715-awards1Oregon Business wins journalism awards.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS