Members Credit Union Expands Opportunities in Cos Cob, CT
"Federation Secondary Capital has given us the ability to offer more loans that are benefiting our immigrant members. It has given us the capacity to counsel each of those new members as they come in, and has given us the opportunity to become more involved in our community." - Kathy Chartier, CEO, Members Credit Union
Members Credit Union, a Juntos Avanzamos and Low Income Designated community development credit union is helping immigrants to improve their financial position in life, with more than half of new members being Hispanic immigrants. MCU has been able to leverage Federation Secondary Capital to grow its impact and offer innovative new products and services that financially empower low-income and immigrant members of its community. Focusing on affordable used auto loans, small balance unsecured loans and free financial counseling, the credit union earned national recognition for its financial inclusion work -- with MCU receiving the Credit Union Times' 2018 Trail Blazer Award for Outstanding Service to the Underserved and CEO Kathy Chartier earning a 2018 Credit Union Hero Achievement Award from CUNA.
Kathy recounted a recent member story exemplifying the transformative impact MCU has been able to deliver at scale to a growing number of individuals and families in its community, thanks to an investment of Secondary Capital from the Federation:
"We had a husband and wife come to us as a result of a financial education that we did in Spanish at an organization called People Empowering People. They needed a car for the wife and equipment for their landscaping business. When we pulled the husband's credit score it was under 500. They had a car loan with a 22% interest rate and had made 11 on-time, consecutive monthly payments of $710.
"During counseling the loan officer realized the couple had no understanding of how credit cards affected their credit. We advised them to pay at least the minimum balance on all cards on time. Our credit union was able to refinance the car loan, finance a car loan for the wife, and give them a collateralized loan to purchase the equipment they needed to grow their business. The credit union was able to work with the family on strengthening their financial future - helping them to save $202 each month on the car loan while the husband increased his credit score by 66 points in one month!"