Five million dollars in patronage has been deposited into the accounts of members who borrowed and saved with CoVantage Credit Union in 2022. This is the 42nd consecutive year that a patronage payment has been distributed, a concept that originated many years ago as a way for cooperatives like CoVantage to give extra value to those who use their services. Over just the past five years, the credit union has returned over $20 million to members.
CoVantage is one of only a few credit unions in the country that provide this unique financial benefit. According to CoVantage Board Chair Susan Gitzlaff, “I am so proud to be part of a mission-based credit union like we have with CoVantage. When the Board evaluates the financials, we determine how much income is needed in reserves to protect the credit union when times get tough. To know that we can give back over $5 million after we’ve done this is amazing. Thank you to our 150,000 member-owners who rely on their credit union for home, auto and business loans, and to save for the future. While it hasn’t been an easy year due to the volatile rate environment, CoVantage is doing fantastic, and for that we say thank you to members and employees.”
The year-end patronage payment includes a bonus on dividends earned for those who save, and a loan interest rebate for those who borrow. CoVantage depositors received a 5% bonus on dividends earned on eligible savings, term share certificates and variable rate accounts. Borrowers received a rebate of 5% of their total 2022 interest paid on eligible vehicle, home equity, in-house mortgage, credit card, and commercial loans.
For instance, if $5,000 of interest had been paid on a home loan, the borrower would receive $250 in patronage for just that loan. In addition to patronage, CoVantage also provided over $115,000 to members through the CoVantage match for those enrolled in Change it Up, a debit card savings program. CoVantage members used their debit card more than ever, and collectively saved nearly $2.3 million through Change it Up.
CoVantage President Charlie Zanayed, added, “Part of our simple mission is to provide outstanding value, which we do through everyday great rates and low fees, including not charging overdraft fees on checking. I’m humbled to share that Callahan and Associates (an independent credit union research company) recently ranked CoVantage 3rd out of over 4,000 credit unions nationally for having great rates and low fees. As a direct result of our members’ feedback, CoVantage was also ranked the Best-in-State Credit Union in Wisconsin by Forbes and received the highest ranking of all credit unions in their national study. I want to be clear, that while this recognition is nice, what’s really rewarding is reading the terrific feedback our member-owners provide in our monthly surveys. For instance, our average Net Promoter Score this year is 89, among the best scores nationally for any business. As much as we try to always provide exceptional service, at times we do fall short, and I want to thank you for your patience when that occurs. CoVantage members are simply terrific and thank you for allowing us to serve you.”