Winston-Salem, NC – With bureaucrats in Washington, DC, debating the merits of another taxpayer-funded economic stimulus package, a local credit union has offered a private solution. Members Credit Union (MCU) announced its Holiday Skip-a-Pay program on November 3, which allows members to extend the due date on any non-mortgage loan, fee-free, by one month. In the initiative’s first twelve business days, 1,345 loan agreements have been amended, accounting for over $300,000 in member payment obligations.
“We are pleased to be able to help members free up cash during this difficult economic time,” says Jack V. Braswell, Jr., MCU President/CEO. “The $200-$300 that this extension keeps in members’ pockets may be all it takes to brighten this holiday season, and help inject some life in our local economy.”
MCU’s ability to extend such an offer highlights their strong financial condition even as the banking industry has been turned upside down by the credit crisis. Despite well-documented struggles by financial institutions across the globe, MCU is currently in its best capital position in the their 55-year history (10.27% capital/assets). This means the credit union has more funds readily available for lending, investment, and expanding services to the credit union’s 52,000 members – including its nineteenth branch opened in Kernersville earlier this month. While most financial institutions are tightening lending standards, boosting fees, and laying off employees just to stay afloat, MCU’s business model has remained intact.
“Our approach to lending and investing has always been to ask the question ‘what is the most responsible use of our members’ assets?’ Braswell explains. “Not once did the answer involve making predatory loans to people who could not possibly repay, or investing in instruments that encouraged, and tried to profit from, that behavior.”
This business philosophy, guided by the credit union’s member-elected, volunteer Board of Directors, has sheltered MCU from the temptations of high risk, high reward practices that led to the global financial meltdown. Loan rates have remained consistently low, deposit returns have been predictably competitive deposit ratesAs a financial cooperative MCU is owned and operated by its members, which means
The credit union plans to continue the Holiday Skip-a-Pay offer through December to help members free up as much money as possible for the holiday season.