WASHINGTON (4/13/15)--Credit unions not only may be consumers' smartest financial choice, they have a significant positive impact on their states' economies, according to a blog in the Huffington Post.
"Why a Credit Union Might Be the Smartest Choice You've Ever Made," was written by Rachel Pross, director of compliance and legislative affairs at Springfield, Ore.-based Northwest Community CU and posted on Thursday. By Friday morning the blog had moved up into the "Featured Blogs" category.
Pross' "Aha!" moment, when she knew credit unions would be part of her life, came in the aftermath of a robbery that left her small credit union's staff traumatized. When it reopened, it was short-staffed. She contacted a larger credit union two hours away that used the same data processor for help, she wrote.
"That CEO didn't know me at all, but he immediately sent me five employees. He wouldn't let me pay a dime. He had my back, because I was a 'credit unioner' and credit unioners are family. That was my 'aha' moment," she wrote.
The blog outlined reasons why "credit unions are the not-for-profit balance to the U.S.'s credit system." The member-owned financial cooperatives return earnings to the members in better loan rates, higher deposit yields, and fewer and lower fees. "Our boards are elected by and for the members. Since credit unions don't have stockholders, they exist solely to serve members. That's it. No matter how small or big a credit union is, that fundamental cooperative structure remains the same."
Credit unions have a significant impact on their local economies, Pross wrote. She cited an ECONorthwest study that reported credit unions generated $6.8 billion for the regional Oregon and Washington economies in 2014. They also provided $352 million in direct benefits to members that translated to $732 million in buying power in the states' economies.