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Entries in Credit Unions (7)

Wednesday
Sep302015

10 Facts About Credit Unions

Being a member of a credit union is a coup for your finances for many reasons. Here are just a few facts that make credit unions a great option.

Fact #1: President Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act in 1934 to promote thriftiness and prevent usury during the Great Depression.

Fact #2: Credit unions are insured. Most credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which provides essentially the same coverage on funds as does the FDIC. If the word “federal” is in the name, they are insured. If not, check with your credit union. It may be state-chartered and/or have private deposit insurance.

Fact #3: Eligibility is fairly flexible at most credit unions. Most require residency in a certain community, city, or state, or that you are employed by the credit union’s sponsor company, also known as a Select Employee Group (SEG). But requirements are pretty broad on most, making eligibility at a credit union a possibility for almost anyone.

Fact #4: Credit unions are not-for-profit institutions and are owned by the people they serve, not by a few shareholders.

Fact #5: Credit unions can offer better rates on savings accounts, lower interest rates on loans, and little or no fees on accounts because they are exempt from federal taxes. Credit unions still pay state taxes.

Fact #6: The credit union’s board of directors, which is elected by members, can set loan limits in an effort to help the credit union grow.

Fact #7: Credit union members have democratic control of the credit union and can attend and participate in regular and special membership meetings.

Fact #8: Nonmembers benefit from credit unions too. Competition for low rates keeps banks’ fees in check, thereby benefiting nonmembers.

Fact #9: With more than 5,000 credit unions across the globe and access to tens of thousands of ATMs, credit unions are increasingly convenient on a national scale.

Fact #10: Once you are a member of a credit union, you stay a member for as long as you maintain your deposit account (share), regardless of whether or not you continue to meet the original eligibility requirements.

Tuesday
Jun242014

Credit Union Foundation -- 80 Years

Have you ever walked into a business where everyone knows your name? If you’re a credit union member, the answer is probably yes.

For 83 years, we’ve been proud of the service we’ve been able to provide at Star Choice Credit Union. Over the years, as big Wall Street banks have grown more distant from their customers, hardworking folks have been looking for an alternative. Whether they’ve been a member since we opened our doors or just joined yesterday, our 5,825 members choose a credit union because we’ve made collaborative banking a success while offering first-rate member service and savings. None of that would be possible today if it wasn’t for the work done in 1934.

The foundation for a strong credit union movement was set 80 years ago, on June 26, 1934, when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act into law, permitting credit unions to be formed across the country. Since that day, credit unions have developed considerably. Through the years, we’ve grown in membership as we’ve broadened our services to meet the needs of our members, from mortgage lending to student loans and even a mobile app that allows you to deposit your checks simply by snapping a photo of them. Like other credit unions around the country, we practice values-based decision-making; a clear departure from the big banks.

Today, nearly 100 million people choose to be members of credit unions, and more than 6,700 independent, consumer-owned, volunteer-led, democratically controlled credit unions have the well-being of their members in mind every day.

We strive to be a not-for-profit institution that you can choose to be your best financial partner, but our impact goes far beyond our community. Credit unions return financial benefits directly to their members with higher returns on savings, lower rates on loans, and fewer, lower fees. Bank customers benefit too, as the presence of credit unions drives down loan rates, pushes up savings rates and influences fees. In fact, credit union members and non-member bank customers realized financial benefits of more than $8 billion dollars in 2013.

We believe a key reason we’re your best financial partner is because we listen to the needs and interests of our growing membership by fostering service excellence. Every day, we work to make sure our members receive helpful, personalized service when they come in, call us on the phone or reach us over the Internet. With services such as online banking, shared ATM access (the largest single ATM network in the country), and “shared branches” among credit unions -- our great rates, and our dedication to competitive loan and savings rates are our top priorities, day in and day out.

We also believe it’s important to remove the barriers that exist to service, and we encourage our members who are interested to become engaged on issues that are important to them. We’re active in legislative advocacy through our grassroots efforts. We believe it’s important that our elected officials hear from us and we help foster open-door policies at the congressional level as well as with federal and state regulators.

Most of all, we believe that a good credit union is one that gives back and creates awareness in the community. Star Choice once again partnered with Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People (VEAP) this year. VEAP serves the local communities of Bloomington, Richfield, Edina and part of Minneapolis. Nearly 8,000 individuals, half of whom are children, are served each month, making it the largest food distribution center in Minnesota. They offer four service programs which work together to help alleviate the financial stress low-income individuals and families face as the result of unexpected expenses or lapses in income. The four service programs they offer are: Food Program, Children and Youth Services, Transportation, and Social Services.

Over the past year, Star Choice has assisted VEAP by both volunteering time and making contributions to their Food Program by collecting non-perishable food items as well as monetary donations from our employees as well as our membership. This year we managed to collect 480 pounds of food to donate to VEAP on behalf of the members and employees at Star Choice.

As we continue to move forward, it’s essential to look back and remember why credit unions were created. Credit unions are cooperatives that were developed to promote thrift among the American people – bound together by a common set of business principles and values. Volunteer leadership. Democratic control. Economic participation. Autonomy and independence. Member education. Cooperation among cooperatives. Concern for community.

Today, credit unions are living up to those business principles and values, and Star Choice Credit Union will continue to work to put our members and our community first.

Tuesday
Nov052013

2014 Scholarship Details 

Hey Students!

Did you know the Minnesota Family Involvement Council has $10,000 in scholarships available for Minnesota credit union members? To be eligible, the applicant must be a student pursuing post high school education in the 2014/2015 school year (fall and spring semester) and must be a member of a credit union headquartered in Minnesota that is affiliated with the Minnesota Credit Union Network. (Hey, that's us!)

The FIC is offering two $1,000 scholarships and sixteen $500 scholarships to 18 credit union members throughout Minnesota. Any individual attending a college or university, graduate or law school, 2- or 4-year program or community or technical college in the fall of 2014/spring 2015 is eligible.

Those interested in applying need to complete a one-page application form and submit a typed essay (up to 500 words in length) answering the question, “The average age of credit union members in Minnesota is 47 years old. In order to be sustainable, credit unions need to serve younger generations, as well.  What can credit unions do to attract and engage young adult consumers?”

Applicants are encouraged to research the topic using any sources available. The scholarship deadline is Tuesday, February 1, 2014. The 18 scholarship recipients will be selected and announced in the spring of 2014.

For an application packet, please contact Star Choice Credit Union at 952.698.SCCU (7228) and ask for Molly McCabe or apply online at http://www.mnfic.org/scholar.htm. Best of luck!

 

 


Tuesday
Oct012013

What's so GREAT about GREAT?

Star Choice Credit Union seeks GREAT members/employees!

Do you love being a member/employee of Star Choice Credit Union? We genuinely hope that you do, because every day our number one priority is to meet your financial needs. Like any cooperative, the strength of our credit union comes from our foundation – which is you, our members/employees. As our support system, we look to you to join us in strengthening and improving the Minnesota credit union movement.

One of the many ways you can support Star Choice Credit Union is by signing up to become involved in group called GREAT, the GrassRoots Education & Action Team. As a member of GREAT, you will join credit union supporters from around Minnesota in sharing the credit union story our elected officials. Becoming GREAT provides you with the opportunity to help preserve, protect and promote Minnesota credit unions. Membership is free, and the information you provide will only be used for the purpose of grassroots advocacy.

Here’s how the program works:

1.     GREAT members receive occasional e-mails asking them to contact elected officials about a particular issue

2.     GREAT provides a sample e-mail message.

3.     GREAT members send a targeted message to legislators with about five clicks of the mouse! 

Your communication – combined with the messages of thousands of other credit union supporters around the state – has the power to truly make an impact on issues important to the credit union movement.

Show your legislators that you support your credit union by becoming a GREAT member today! To sign up, simply visit the GREAT web site (www.greatcreditunions.org) and click on the “Action E-List” link at the bottom of the page.

With your help, Minnesota’s credit unions can continue to grow and thrive for years to come. Join GREAT today and become part of the larger credit union movement!

 

 

Wednesday
May152013

Don't Tax My Credit Union!

The credit union mission has always been “people not profits.”


Credit unions are not-for-profit. Star Choice Credit Union, as well as the others, returns earnings directly to our members in the form of higher interest rates and lower fees and loan rates. This is the reason why people love credit union membership and also why credit unions pay no federal income tax.

Some people in Washington want to tax credit unions. As previously stated, credit unions currently offer lower interest rates on loans, lower fees, and higher returns on savings. If the tax exemption is ended, this will result in higher taxes for you and the other 1.5 million credit union members in Minnesota. (Not to mention the other 94.5 million credit union members in America!)

We need your support! We urge you to help us support the “people not profit” mission of credit unions and the American people.

TAKE ACTION NOW and tell your legislators: “Don’t tax my credit union!”

 

Here is how you can help:

Go to the GREAT page of the Minnesota Credit Union Network website and click the “Federal Issues” tab to respond to this Action Alert. (Note: you will need to register first, it will only take a minute!) Also, please encourage your fellow credit union supporters who are not yet GREAT members to sign up at greatcreditunions.org.

 

After you’ve taken action and responded to this alert, you can find more information on this advocacy effort on the Credit Union National Association’s “Don’t tax my credit union” webpage.

Thank you in advance for your support! Together we can take action and prevent the taxing of credit unions.