Posts Tagged 'not for profit'

What ‘local’ really means to us

Does the bank support community events or do they just pocket the money they earn? Do they have really good customer service or is it usually easier to just go use an ATM?

Most of the benefit of buying local comes from the fact that many local shops are involved with supporting the communities they serve…If the local bank doesn’t provide any value for being local – meaning they just scoop away money out of the community – I don’t value them any higher than any other bank. It becomes just a pure rate comparison.

Here, in an excerpt from The Simple Dollar, is American 1 in a nutshell.

As a not-for-profit credit union, we’re obligated to return our “profits” back to our members and our community. So while other financial institutions may keep the fees they charge you, we turn around and invest them in community events all year long.

That’s what being a “local” financial institution really means: giving back to the communities we serve.

Credit unions explained on CBS Early Show

Watch CBS News Videos Online

CBS’s financial contributor Vera Gibbons recently spoke with CBS’s Early Show about the benefits of joining a credit union (click the above link to see the video). One of the benefits we know first-hand? Lending:

Lending portfolios at commercial banks are down, and credit union loan portfolios are up. This means that if you are a credit worthy customer, and your credit history is in good standing, you stand a BETTER chance of getting a personal loan at a credit union than you do at a commercial bank. Why is that? Credit unions are not as tangled up in the sub-prime mess as the banks were, so they’re in a better position to loan.

If you’re looking for a last-minute gift to give this holiday season, why not think about an Eagle Earners account for a child? Starting your kid out at a credit union is a great way to get them started on financial literacy.

What ‘service’ means to us

We in the credit union world are not big fans of so-called “pay-day lenders” – those businesses in strip malls and abandoned offices that offer “cash advance” loans for up to 400% APY.

So when this article about credit unions giving “Grace Loans” popped up in another credit union blog, it reminded me about the whole credit union philosophy: not for profit, not for charity, but for service. Isn’t that a great outlook? We’re not here to profit off our members’ money, or to give them “hand outs,” but to serve them in a responsible and beneficial way.

And that goes for our community, too. The recent articles on American 1 have highlighted that, yes, our many events help locals keep us in mind when they’re thinking about a financial institution, but in the end we hold community events because it gives families a chance to do something fun for absolutely nothing. No cost. No admission. Just bring the kids, walk through the door, and have a great time.

There are many ways to define “service,” but I think any definition shouldn’t be limited to money matters alone. What does being a “good” person mean? What about a “successful” business?

We define “service” in many ways, and we hope that you take advantage of all of them. That’s what we’re here for.

American 1 Federal Credit Union