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Virginia-Based Credit Unions Represent $882 Million Benefit for Members

May 8, 2014 by Lewis Wood

With better loan and savings rates, and fewer fees than for-profit banks, Virginia-based credit unions delivered $882 million in direct financial benefits to their members in 2013. That and other information about Virginia-based credit unions is included in the Virginia Credit Union League's latest Impact Report, which covers calendar year 2013.

CONTACT:
Lewis Wood
Vice President of Communication and Public Relations
800.768.3344, ext. 629
lwood@vacul.org 

With better loan and savings rates, and fewer fees than for-profit banks, Virginia-based credit unions delivered $882 million in direct financial benefits to their members in 2013. That and other information about Virginia-based credit unions is included in the Virginia Credit Union League's latest Impact Report, which covers calendar year 2013.

"As member-owned financial cooperatives, our mission is simply to serve our members and work toward the betterment of our communities," said Rick Pillow, president of the Virginia Credit Union League, the trade association for the Commonwealth's 166 credit unions. "Our credit unions touch the lives of millions each day, meeting their needs for home loans, car loans and many safe, insured options for retirement savings."

Among the highlights in the Impact Report:

  • At year-end 2013, the state’s credit unions boasted a membership total of 8.41 million, having added 653,000 members in 2013. Owed to the large number of credit unions based in Virginia that serve the military and various federal agencies, members of Virginia-based credit unions are spread all across the globe. The number of credit union members residing in Virginia is estimated at 3.25 million.
  • Virginia-based credit unions have modified $741 million in mortgage loans in the years following the financial crisis of 2008. More than $57 million in mortgage loan modifications were originated in 2013 alone.
  • The Commonwealth's credit unions originated 72,920 first mortgages totaling $18 billion in 2013
  • We are providing loans to members with small businesses ($386 million in 2013 alone) that are helping them create jobs, purchase equipment and grow! At year-end 2013, state credit unions had a total of $1.1 billion in outstanding member business loans.
  • In a survey conducted by the Virginia Credit Union League, the 26 credit unions that responded noted that they originated $25.2 million in small loans (non-credit card loans of $3,000 or less) in 2013. These loans aided almost 20,000 members, 53 percent of whom were characterized as having "poor" or "very poor" credit – comparable to a credit score of 620 or below.
  • Emergency needs are a key reason members are seeking small loans at their credit union. Car and home repairs, medical needs and the payment of utility bills topped the list of emergency needs.
  • Research has shown that the recession impacted the financial well-being of even firmly middle-class families, resulting in growing numbers of the middle-class seeking short-term, small-dollar loans to meet an emergency need. Although only a small sample is available through the Virginia League's survey, our participating credit unions reported that nearly one-quarter of the small-dollar loan borrowers for which income data was readily available earned more than $45,000 annually.
  • Credit unions are also helping members build credit or repair damaged credit through Credit Builder Loans. These are loans in which proceeds are held in a restricted account and made accessible as the loan is paid down or paid off, the goal being to positively impact the borrower's credit score. These loans often feature a means of helping the borrower build their savings as well.

Credit unions proudly work to strengthen their communities, providing financial education to adults and in our local schools, as well as supporting charitable and community service organizations.

During the 2012-2013 school year, Virginia-based credit unions reported reaching 21,174 students with lessons on budgeting, saving and spending money wisely. Since 1999, our credit unions have collectively reached 282,849 students with lessons in personal finance basics and that commitment is only strengthening thanks to credit unions’ launch of the Credit Unions Care Foundation in 2009, which proudly promotes financial education as one of its core missions.

In 2013, credit unions collectively donated $406,236 to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals serving Virginia, the highest single-year donation to date in the decade-long partnership between CMN Hospitals and Virginia's credit union system. Since the start of that partnership in 2003, Virginia's credit unions have collectively contributed more than $2 million to CMN Hospitals, through credit unions' own fundraisers and through fundraisers sponsored cooperatively within the Virginia and national credit union systems.

"Credit unions can point to a long history as a social movement dedicated to improving the lives of our members and impacting, in a positive way, the communities we call home," said Pillow.

The Virginia Credit Union League's Impact Report is available for download at this location:

About Virginia's Credit Union System
Virginia is home to 166 member-owned, not-for-profit credit unions, which boast a combined $99.2 billion in assets and 8.4 million member-owners. They hold more than $70.3 billion in loans and $76.6 billion in savings. Learn more about the benefits of credit unions and find a credit union you can join, by visiting www.quitthehit.com.

About the Virginia Credit Union League
During the past 80 years, the Virginia Credit Union League has helped organize, promote and protect Virginia's credit union system. The League's mission today is firmly focused on advocacy, compliance and regulatory assistance, education and professional development, and in providing business solutions that help credit unions serve their members. Learn more about the League by visiting www.vacul.org.

NOTE: Special thanks to the following credit unions for participation in our Reality Check Survey!

  • Argent Credit Union
  • Assurance Federal Credit Union
  • BayPort Credit Union
  • Blue Eagle Credit Union
  • Celco Federal Credit Union
  • Call Federal Credit Union
  • Chesterfield Federal Credit Union
  • CommonWealth One Federal Credit Union
  • DuPont Community Credit Union
  • Fairfax City Federal Credit Union
  • Fairfax County Federal Credit Union 
  • First NRV Federal Credit Union
  • Fort Lee Federal Credit Union
  • Freedom First Credit Union
  • Member One Federal Credit Union
  • Mountain Empire Federal Credit Union
  • Norfolk Fire Department Federal Credit Union
  • Park View Federal Credit Union
  • Peoples Advantage Federal Credit Union
  • PWC Employees Credit Union
  • Resources Federal Credit Union
  • Richmond Fire Department Credit Union
  • URW Community Federal Credit Union
  • Virginia State University Federal Credit Union
  • Virginia United Methodist Credit Union 

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