After nearly four years in the making, Community Promise Federal Credit Union has opened its doors in the Edison neighborhood.
It's a community development credit union, a credit union with a special mission of serving low- and moderate-income people and communities. At its open house Feb. 26 community members had the opportunity to learn about the services provided by Community Promise Federal Credit Union
The unique financial institution has one employee and is primarily staffed by volunteers. Community development credit unions are nonprofit and tax-exempt, but not a charity. They are cooperatively owned and governed--one member has one vote. They are government-regulated, fully insured financial institutions.
They provide fairly priced loans, including to those members who have imperfect, limited or no credit history; a safe place to save; a place to conduct transactions at reasonable cost; financial education and counseling for its members; and products, services and support that can help members to free themselves from high-cost and predatory debt, gain control over their personal finances, and achieve economic independence.
It offers an alternative for those who might feel their only financial resource is a payday lender.
"Too many Kalamazoo residents fall prey to payday lenders and other similar businesses," says Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell. "I am pleased that Community Promise will provide Kalamazoo residents with access to fair and affordable financial services."
Lee Kirk says a recent Pew Trust report found the average loan from a payday lender requires a repayment of more than $400 in two weeks, the typical duration, when the average borrower can only afford $50.
Community Promise also soon will be partnering with Kalamazoo Public Schools and Communities in Schools of Kalamazoo to teach basic money management skills to students at the neighborhood’s elementary schools.
from churches to local businesses have all helped make the credit union possible, Kirk says.
Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Lee Kirk, Community Promise Federal Credit Union