OLYMPIA, Wash. – A low-income credit union that took many years to organize and charter has done better than expected in its first year. The $2.3 million Thurston Union of Low Income People, the first new credit union chartered in Washington State in 10 years, began operating with the support of a local food cooperative. According to the credit union, its membership rolls in its first year of existence grew 12% more than the organizers had anticipated. The credit union had 428 members as of September 31 2004, according to NCUA. “Beating our first-year membership goal is an exciting milestone for us,” said Darlene Morales, TULIP’s CEO. “The community response has been very positive. We’ve laid a great foundation and now need to build on it to reach more people.” Membership is open to any Thurston County resident whose annual gross household income is at or less than 80% of the national median, approximately $35,000. Members of the food co-op are also eligible to become members.

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