BALTIMORE-Century Heritage Federal Credit Union President and CEO Vin Cerasuolo told Partnering and Leadership Successes workshop attendees that his credit union is using a community charter to better serve the area and improve the health of the credit union. There are 33 communities within Century Heritage’s field of membership, Cerasuolo said. According to 2000 data, 27 of those are below the state’s (Pennsylvania) median income and 20 are below 80% of the state’s median income. “As we get further into this community charter, we’re trying to get better and more deliberate about reaching out to the populations,” he explained. Already the credit union has opened branches in two of the five lowest income areas. These residents account for 20% of the credit union’s FOM and 15% of the loan portfolio. Century Heritage is offering budget credit counseling and homebuyer education classes, though Cerasuolo admits attendance in the latter is “discouraging.” Implementation of risk-based pricing has been a success, however, bringing the average credit score down from 707 to 684.

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