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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A community credit union founded in 1995 by a Roman Catholic nun, along with others, has celebrated its 10th year of operations. Progressive Neighborhood FCU serves the greater Rochester area’s poor and unbanked community. Sister Beth LeValley, a sister with the Sisters of St. Joseph Community has been reported in local media as saying she would have been happy if the credit union had grown to $10,000 in assets in the first six months. Now the credit union has reached $2.4 million in assets and has made a name for itself by helping low-income Rochester residents start businesses which are helping them get on the road to financial independence. Progressive has loaned out over $6.6 million dollars over the last 10 years with a default rate below 3%, the credit union said. Progressive’s personalized credit building program has helped hundreds of Rochester residents to secure credit and establish positive savings habits. The credit union announced it will start its next 10 years by launching a pilot program with Pay Rent, Build Credit, an organization which helps low-income people track their rent, utility and other payments as a way to build up their credit history toward eventual home ownership. Progressive is at the leading edge of an emerging trend to better serve low- and moderate-income individuals.

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