2014 report shows how NY CUs provide MORE to state

May 12, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (5/12/15)--Free checking is almost guaranteed at New York credit unions--and that’s just one example of how the state’s credit unions make a difference in the lives of New York consumers. According to the New York Credit Union Association’s (NYCUA) MORE Report, 99% of the state’s credit unions offer free checking.

The report is an annual compilation of credit union outreach stories that celebrates the positive difference New York credit unions make for their members and communities. Each year, the MORE Report is shared with credit unions, legislators, the media and the public.

“Credit unions are not just the best financial choice for Americans, they’re also vitally important to the communities they serve,” said William J. Mellin, NYCUA president/CEO. “Financial cooperatives were first created to help underserved communities grow and thrive. Clearly New York’s credit unions still carry on that tradition today.”

The 2014 MORE Report highlights New York credit unions’ efforts in seven categories: adult financial education; community investment and outreach; customized products and services; financial counseling; immigrant outreach; Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA); and youth financial education.

During 2014, New York credit unions also provided the following benefits:

  • More than 14,000 in-classroom lessons on saving, budgeting and other financial skills;
  • Financial education lessons to more than 230,000 youths and 172,000 adults;
  • 248,000 hours of volunteer community service; and
  • $38.3 million in donations to local causes, organizations and schools.

The state’s credit unions also helped New Yorkers file 81,500 tax returns and claim $110 million in tax credits and benefits, according to the report. In total, New York’s credit union staff and volunteers provided 36,000 hours of service through VITA, a federal program that offers free tax services to qualifying individuals.

The report also found that 91% provide loans of $1,000 or less in an effort to combat predatory payday lending practices.