Consolidated Loans Help Members Aid Charities
During the past year, eight credit unions across the country have helped members to save more than $8.3 million in interest savings while also supporting local charities by participating in the Community Challenge program.
The interest-savings and charitable-giving campaign is designed to help members save money by consolidating or refinancing current loans that are with other financial institutions, Dan Altenbernd, COO of MemberTree Consultancy, said. The firm is a division of Fargo, N.D.-based H2M, which oversees the program.
To develop the program, MemberTree partnered with the $317 million United Teletech Financial Federal Credit Union in Tinton Falls, N.J. The community-wide program has an interest savings goal, which when achieved, triggers a predetermined donation to local charities by each credit union.
During the first two years of UTF's CommunityChallenge, members cut interest expense by $3.6 million and local charities received more than $31,000, the credit union said.
“Everyone wins with this campaign,” Altenbernd said. “The credit unions gain new members, those members save money, the local charities get a much-needed cash donation and communities are united in a worthy cause.”
By using the program, the $787 million Collins Community Credit Union in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the $80 million Pinnacle Credit Union in Atlanta have enabled their members to gain a total of more than $2 million in interest savings this year.
“We received positive feedback from members who were delighted at the money they were saved by refinancing their loans,” Cynthia Nesbitt, marketing manager at Pinnacle, said. “They were equally excited with the donations made to The Children's Village and The Circle of Love,” which received $2,500 each when the credit union reached its interest-savings goal,
“Since we had never done this type of promotion based on dollars saved, we were not sure how long it would take to reach a million dollars saved,” Nesbitt said. “We exceeded the goal in four months, thanks to a couple of large mortgage refinances.”