Why Credit Unions Matter Now More Than Ever
When we unveiled our new name, we reviewed our connection to the city of Seattle and the people who live in the Puget Sound region. We looked around and saw unprecedented growth and opportunity that has brought new jobs and new residents to town.
We are excited to be a partner in this growth and prosperity. We take very seriously our role in helping members reach lifelong financial goals, like owning a house, buying a car, sending children to college, or retiring after fulfilling careers.
The reality, though, is that not all Puget Sound residents are sharing in this prosperity.
Rising home and rental prices have forced many of our families, friends, and neighbors to abandon the areas where they grew up. While some companies thrive, others have had to close their doors. Many of our region’s residents are unable to take advantage of opportunities because of extreme poverty, mental health issues, addiction, or homelessness.
Seattle Credit Union is a cooperative, built by and for our community. As such, we have an important role to play for those who are struggling. We were founded to help our communities navigate challenges just like these, and we embrace the credit union legacy of “People Helping People.”
As a credit union, profit is not our primary motivation. People are.
We believe financially savvy consumers are key to an equitable economic system. We provide financial education to our members via in-branch seminars, content on our website and social channels, and during one-on-one conversations with our branch representatives.
At Seattle Credit Union, everyone is welcome, and every member has a voice. That’s why we encourage people to vote, whether that’s in a board or general election and regardless of party affiliation or stance on particular issues.
No single organization can do it alone. We have to cooperate to make long-term, impactful change. That was our motivation in creating Feel Good Checking®, which gives $20 for every new account opened to a local non-profit partner working to solve some of these overwhelming societal problems.
We understand there are barriers people must overcome before they are in a position to leverage even the most basic financial tools. To help them overcome those obstacles, we publicize resources, like those of our partners at Wellspring Family Services, that give people access to the assistance they need to deal with some of the most difficult obstacles a person can face.
That’s why we offer more than just savings and checking accounts. It’s why we created special products, like our Citizenship Loans, which provide a way to pay for the costs associated with becoming a U.S. citizen.
As we celebrate International Credit Union Day 2018, it’s important for us to remember why we’re here – to help people. That’s our mandate, and it takes many forms. We, like other credit unions, are proud to have a history of providing the tools and support our communities need to grow and prosper.
As a member of Seattle Credit Union, you may not be in a place of need right now, but you play an important role in how we carry out our mission. When you open a Seattle Credit Union auto loan, credit card, or checking account, you’ll get great rates on quality financial products, but you’ll also be a part of helping your neighbors overcome obstacles, so they too can prosper.
We sincerely appreciate your membership and that you’ve chosen to join us in this important work.
Richard Romero, President/CEO
Seattle Credit Union