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Putting people over profits

As personal income dried up from recent furloughs and business closures, credit unions instituted programs to help members through financial hardships.
Credit: Afif Kusuma

Have you ever heard the phrase “people over profits?” This phrase embodies the mission of credit unions as they strive to serve the needs of their members unlike for-profit banks that may answer to stockholders. While this always rings true with credit unions, it’s never so clear as it is during times of crisis, like COVID-19.

Credit Unions are not-for-profit banking cooperatives that provide many of the same banking services as traditional banks, but with a different mindset – people helping people help people; for example: helping members thrive financially and uncovering ways to support their communities regardless of circumstances.

How Credit Unions Serve Members

Unlike a traditional bank, a credit union is owned by its members. Rather than paying dividends to shareholders or striving to meet the expectations of Wall Street and investors, credit unions re-invest revenue that is generated from banking services back into the credit union. This enables credit unions to provide higher returns on investments for members, a decreased cost of borrowing money through lower interest rates, and provides strong, member-centric support to help meet the banking needs of the cooperative.

For example, as the COVID-19 crisis hit Central Ohio, the importance of this mission became more evident as credit unions, like KEMBA, worked to quickly put programs in place to benefit its members and the communities served. As personal income dried up from furloughs and business closures, and small businesses suffered extreme financial consequences, credit unions instituted programs to help members through financial hardships:

  • Skip-a-payment on select loans which helped increase monthly disposable income
  • Emergency loans for unexpected expenses or job loss
  • Loan and mortgage payment deferral without negative credit report consequences
  • Suspension of new mortgage foreclosures and vehicle repossessions
  • Late fee waivers for missed payments
  • PPP (Payroll Protection Program) SBA loan administration for small businesses to make payroll
  • Payment deferral and term adjustments on business loans
  • Plus, personalized solutions for individual needs

When a credit union reinvests revenue generated from banking products, the focus shifts from increasing shareholder value to a genuine concern for members and their personal finances. Likewise, credit unions often provide financial education and resources to the communities they serve for the betterment of the citizens at-large.

If you are looking for a banking partner who has your best financial interests in mind, consider joining a credit union like KEMBA. KEMBA serves members who live, work or worship in Central Ohio, and offers the same banking services that a traditional bank offers - including online and mobile banking, plus all of the membership benefits that are outlined above. If you would like more information about joining KEMBA, our personal banking, business banking  services or financial literacy resources, call a KEMBA Member Service Representative today at 800.282.6420, option 4, to learn more.