Jon Jeffreys Links Creativity, Opportunity With Collaboration
For Jon Jeffreys, president of Credit Union Student Choice, credit union survival boils down to value and collaboration.
“I think they need to continue to embrace the fact that credit union means something different–a financial cooperative focused on member value and differentiation,” said Jeffreys, who is also vice president of Callahan Financial Services, a subsidiary of Callahan & Associates that provides expanded investment alternatives to credit unions.
“We launched in four months and got off to an okay start with all the growing pains that first season. Then in 2008, the financial market imploded so we were fortunate because all these opportunities came our way and accelerated growth,” said Jeffreys. “It was the classic economics 101 of supply and demand–the amount needed to finance education was going up but not as much capital was available so those financial institutions like Citibank could charge what they want, in some cases well over 10%. We were now able to offer superior value an average yield a little over 6%–that’s a four point difference in real money. So it might not be a better mousetrap, but one that was reasonable and fair to consumers today.”
It was also important that the loans could be offered by small and medium-sized credit unions. Jeffreys said the success of Credit Union Student Choice has been a combination of timing, opportunity, value and collaboration. The CUSO helps credit unions