<p>JACKSON, Miss. – AmSouth Bank has invested $100,000 in Hope Community Credit Union, a $1.7 million low-income designated credit union based in Jackson, Mississippi. The money will help lift the 1,731 member credit union's net worth from the 1.14% it had in December of 2001 and enable it to offer members more services. According to the Mississippi Business Journal Hope offers loans, share certificates, savings accounts, car loans, automatic drafts and deposits. The credit union hopes the additional capital will help it offer member checking accounts. "We believe this ($100,000 investment) will not only benefit the business communities in this area but will also empower our members to have access to basic financial services in order to reinvest in their communities," Hope manager Neddie Winters told the Journal. Anderson United Methodist Church founded Hope in 1995 and, since then, 27 other churches have backed the institution, according to the Journal. After growing slowly for several years Hope has seen rapid growth since 2000, adding 816 members and making more than $1 million in loans since 2001. The credit union has also seen its delinquent loan ratio fall from 18.25% in December 1997 to just .70% in December of 2001, according to NCUA.</p>

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