Financial Benefits of Membership at a Credit Union

Guess what?

Credit unions provide all of the financial services you need: savings accounts, loans, financial education, credit cards, online and mobile banking, and more. The “more” part is the best part, because it represents your benefits as a member.

Okay, so what’s the difference between a credit union and a bank?

The key difference between local credit unions and other financial services is that we are owned by members like you. Unlike for-profit financial institutions, which take their marching-orders from stockholders, we exist only to serve you and your financial needs. You’re the boss! With no Wall Street fat-cats to pay, we are uniquely positioned to return direct financial benefits to members. This includes better interest rates and lower fees.

But what does that mean to you?

In 2018 alone, Oregon credit unions provided a whopping $152 million in direct financial benefits to over 2 million members. That’s the equivalent of about $75 per member, and $160 per household. Financing a $25,000 new automobile for 60 months at an Oregon credit union saves you an average of $177 in annual interest compared to what you would pay at the nearby bank.

How do credit union members benefit?

Do you want more examples of the benefits of belonging to a credit union? How does earning a better return on your savings sound? 2018 also saw the collective member benefit from higher interest rates on savings at more than $3.6 million. We supported local spending to the tune of $333 million. Not to mention a $1.8 billion boost to the Oregon economy.

And the list goes on…

  • In the Northwest, 6.5 million consumers have discovered the Credit Union Difference.
  • Nearly everyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Idaho, Oregon, or Washington is eligible to join a credit union. Learn more by visiting www.asmarterchoice.org.
  • Credit unions provide jobs to 19,600 of your Northwest neighbors—2,520 in Idaho, 5,850 in Oregon, and 12,200 in Washington.
  • Oregon alone supported more than $802 million in total income to working Oregonians.
  • Credit unions earn a corporate tax exemption because they are not-for-profit cooperatives that return earnings to their members.
  • Giving back to the community is part of the Credit Union DNA.
  • You’re treated like you truly belong—because you’re more than a number—you’re a member.
  • Credit unions live by Northwest values: local, cooperative, community based.

To learn even more about how credit unions support the Pacific Northwest, visit OregonLovesCreditUnions.com. Find out why 50 percent of Oregonians have chosen credit unions as their financial services partners.

Wauna Credit Union is also a very safe place for you to save money. The National Credit Union Association insures all deposits up to at least $250,000 per individual.

So, spread the good word! Tell your friends to join a credit union today!

All analysis provided by economists at ECONorthwest, a highly regarded economic consulting firm.   

WCU Joins Forest Grove High School Career Expo

WCU’s booth at the Forest Grove Career Expo

On Tuesday, March 6th, Hundreds of sophomores, juniors, and seniors filed into Forest Grove High School’s gymnasium, perusing the nearly 50 organizations there during Willamette Education Service District’s “Career Expo at Forest Grove HS”.

“I just got accepted to BYU,” said one senior girl, who was planning on becoming an engineer.

“I’m not sure where I want to go to school, but I know I want a job in finance,” said another.

Fittingly enough, among those present in Forest Grove was Wauna Credit Union (WCU). Credit unions are not only excellent examples of cooperative, people-based institutions, they’re also great places to start a career.

WCU’s Member Relationship Officer, Stephanie Pesio, alongside Communications Specialist, Michael Murdoch were on hand to talk about the benefits of joining and working for a credit union.

“We have so many opportunities for young people at Wauna,” said Pesio. “WCU has an internship program for current high school kids, too. We have full-time employees who have risen in the ranks here long after starting as interns,” she added.

All told, about 100 students stopped by WCU’s booth. There was, of course, a bowl of candy present and a chance to win $50 for filling out a short survey. With questions like “What is the difference between a bank and a credit union?” and “Can you name three credit unions?”, the survey helps WCU gauge young peoples’ understanding of the industry.

“I think a credit union is local and does loans, right?” said one Forest Grove High School junior.

“There’s still a lot of confusion over what exactly a credit union is,” said Murdoch. “But we did a lot of teaching.”

Though their credit union education might need some work, WCU is looking forward to a larger presence in Forest Grove. Later in 2018, construction begins on WCU’s newest branch. WCU’s presence will account for only one of two credit unions in the area.

“We look forward to the future and are excited to be involved in the schools, the city, and in the community,” said Murdoch.

The Credit Union Difference

Wauna Credit Union was formed, and continues to act, for the purpose of serving our communities of Clatsop, Columbia, and Western Washington Counties in Oregon, and Pacific County in Washington. We talk a lot about our charity, and about serving our members. What we spend most of our day-to-day work on is being a financial institution that is working to help our members achieve their dreams. A huge part of that is being a not-for-profit credit union instead of a for profit bank.

We put together a video on what that difference means for us. Check it out to hear about the Credit Union Difference.

In addition, ECONorthwest created an independent analysis that analyzed the gross economic impacts of credit unions in Oregon and Washington. The study measured the jobs, economic output, and income Wauna Credit Union contributed to the economy in 2016.

Wauna Credit Union's Economic Impact Wauna Credit Union Impacts Direct Member Benefit 21, 564 number of members Jobs 90 jobs Income $5,426,000 income to credit union employees economic contribution $10,277,00 spending and compensation total economic impacts direct member benefit $1,899,00 Jobs 269 jobs Income $11,699,000 income supported by credit union employees Economic contribtuion $25,634,000 spending and compensation

PRESS RELEASE: Wauna CU Makes Top 100 Nonprofits

Pictured, L to R: Sara Kulp, Sharon Borgardt, Marc Silva, Robert Blumberg, John Moore, Gina Dines, Pam Weller, Debi Smiley, Danea Passmore, David Merrell.
Pictured, L to R: Sara Kulp, Sharon Borgardt, Marc Silva, Robert Blumberg, John Moore, Gina Dines, Pam Weller, Debi Smiley, Danea Passmore, David Merrell.

Wauna Credit Union has been recognized by Oregon Business Magazine as one of the 100 Best Nonprofits To Work For in Oregon. This is the Oregon Business Magazine’s 7th Annual Top 100 List, which analyzed employee survey data compiled earlier this year from over 5,000 employees throughout Oregon.

“We are thrilled by this wonderful recognition,” reports Sharon Borgardt, Chief Human Resources Officer for Wauna CU, “especially since the ranking is based on a survey comparing our employees’ level of pride and satisfaction to those of other similar employers.” Wauna Credit Union compared especially favorable to its peers in the categories of Management & Communication, Benefits and Compensation, Sustainable Practices, and Career Development & Learning.

“Much of the success of our organization is based on the amazing service our staff provides to over 20,000 local, member-owners,” says Robert Blumberg, CEO. “As an employer, we truly value our employees as the most important assets of our organization. We strive to provide a work environment that is positive, rewarding, healthy, and fun! The enthusiasm of our employees is conveyed each day through helpful and courteous service to our member-owners.”

Wauna CU has earned recognition as a Top 100 Best Green Workplace in Oregon for several years due to its commitment to sustainable practices.