A recent article from the Religion News Service outlines the services offered and the challenges faced by faith-based credit unions.
The article features Milwaukee’s Greater Galilee CU, which was chartered to serve Greater Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in 1965, when many of its members were denied loans from traditional financial service providers.
“Greater Galilee’s members, many of whom are elderly, still struggle to secure loans — even if they have the means to repay them,” the article reads.
“We’re still having the same challenges,” said Gloria Neff, a credit union board member and small-business member. “We’re still having the same problems.”
As small credit unions, faith-based credit unions continue to decrease nationwide. “They are a distinct dimension of the credit union industry, offering a consumer-focused alternative to payday lenders and impersonal larger banks — along with shared religious beliefs. As church attendance has fallen nationwide, some small, local church-based credit unions have shuttered.”
But Greater Galilee continues to adapt and serve its members. “At the end of the day that is the objective — to make sure the credit union is going at full force,” said board member Ella Dunbar.