ARLINGTON, Va.-NCUA Board Member Debbie Matz challenged D.C.-area credit unions in a speech last Monday to the Metropolitan Area Credit Union Management Association to become a role model for all of America’s credit unions. “D.C.-area credit unions, by virtue of your location in and around the nation’s capital, have a unique opportunity to serve as models for all of America’s credit unions,” Matz explained in her address to 130 MACUMA members. “This requires developing innovative programs and outreach efforts so you can serve people from all walks of life – young people, single mothers, members of the military, small business owners, senior citizens, renters, and other people with low-to-moderate incomes, including immigrants from every nation in the world.” She also noted the diversity of the area. The need to reach everyone in their communities now more than ever with Congress possibly revisiting credit unions’ tax-exempt status, Matz pointed out. “When you reach out and help more people in the national capital area – especially those who are not served by other insured financial institutions – you give lawmakers more reasons to preserve your tax exemption,” she said. The NCUA Board member held up Shiloh of Alexandria Federal Credit Union as a prime example of truly serving its members’ needs. The credit union, with under $1 million in assets provides members small short-term loans to keep members from payday lenders and no-fee loans to pay off loans from predatory lenders. Matz also cited Navy Federal Credit Union’s “Moderate Income Auto Loan Program,” at a 2% higher rate than the standard but lower than they would get elsewhere, and District Government Employees Federal Credit Union for its involvement in the International Remittance Network, offering low-cost wire services to immigrants’ families in their home countries. She added that Apple Federal Credit Union offers hands-on youth financial education through its 16 student-run branches in high schools. Matz also applauded three MACUMA members-Andrews Federal Credit Union, HEW Federal Credit Union, and Lafayette Federal Credit Union-for adding underserved areas to their fields of membership.

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