By: Deborah Vance
Members Rely On Because We Believe In Them” Sovita Credit Unions: Members’ Money Managers
At bottom, banks are for-profit enterprises, while credit unions are not for profit…
Credit unions generally provide better customer service than banks do… Credit unions also offer higher interest rates on deposits; lower rates on loans: and lower fees. NerdWallet personal finance website, October 5, 2017
Jennifer Shew is excited. She is a cheerful, enthusiastic person who is upbeat about a lot of things, but today she is primed and pumped for the next Sovita Credit Union Member Appreciation event.
Jen is the Marketing Specialist for Sovita Credit Union (formerly Flint Area School Employees Credit Union). This will be the fourth year they’ve held a three-day community event to thank members for their participation and encourage anyone who is interested in joining to stop by. They have food, drinks and lots of conversation.
Gratitude is a prime motivation at Sovita. Member appreciation is a way for the credit union to show gratitude to members for putting their trust in the credit union to handle their financial needs. The success of the credit union is directly linked to the support they receive from their members and from members of the educational and healthcare communities.
EARLY DIRECT DEPOSIT POST TIMES
Many of their members are education and healthcare workers who begin their days early and need to get things done before or after traditional banking hours. It only made sense that their direct deposits post and become available at 2 a.m. instead of 9 a.m., so their money is there when they need it.
MONEY FOR SUMMER LOANS
Another example is Sovita’s summer loan program. It used to be that teachers were paid nine months out of the year. The summer loan program was designed to bridge the summer months. Now it is more likely that a summer loan is used for valuable vacations or home improvement projects.
ANNUAL SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE
To assist their members with needs in the classroom, Sovita Credit Union in partnership with the Flint Classroom Support Fund and the LEADERFund for Lapeer Community Schools collects and disperses truckloads of supplies to the Flint Community and Lapeer school districts to be given to each classroom.
Loans offered at holiday time have a fixed interest rate and are repaid over the next 12 months to assist with expenses for holiday shopping, travel, or any worthwhile purpose.
ATMS PART OF A NATIONWIDE CREDIT UNION NETWORK (CO-OP NETWORK)
Sovita Credit Union has joined a network of other credit unions across the country to offer no-surcharge ATM access nationwide with over 30,000 ATMs.
INCLUSIVE (NOT EXCLUSIVE) BUT FOCUSED – WHO CAN BECOME A MEMBER?
The objective of Sovita Credit Union is to be particularly helpful to those in our community who serve us as educational and/or healthcare workers. The litmus test for any new product or service is “is it something that will it serve our educational and healthcare workers more effectively?” If the answer is “yes,” the idea moves forward.
Jen was quick to point out that the credit union also welcomes the immediate family members of those who already are members. Eligibity questions are addressed at www.sovitacu.org/ Eligibility.aspx
INVOLVED IN THE COMMUNITY
When asked which community project she was especially excited
about, Jen immediately thought of the Hurley Children’s Hospital DQ Miracle Picnic. An amazing fundraising effort that supports pediatric specialty services.
Sovita Credit Union is all about diversity and community. Across Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Oakland and Shiawassee counties, Sovita’s mission is to encourage and support community by improving the individual lives of its residents.