Three Atlanta Credit Unions Win National Recognition for Outstanding Outreach

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

The Credit Union National Association recently awarded national honors to three Atlanta credit unions for outstanding outreach to their members and communities.

Delta Community Credit Union took the second place Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award among credit unions with more than $1 billion in assets.

The Desjardins Youth award recognizes credit unions that display excellent leadership in financial literacy initiatives targeted toward children and teens. Delta Community won this award with its collection of constantly evolving programs aimed at youth education.

 “At Delta Community, creativity and innovation are core attributes to our approach in teaching young people about personal finances,” according to the credit union’s award application. “By offering engaging opportunities to students, they are able to learn about finances in a meaningful way. 

These programs include Cool Cash Camps, a camp teaching financial literacy. Over the past five years, the program has focused on elementary-aged students, teaching them the basics of earning, saving and wise spending, according to the application. In 2018, the credit union expanded the curriculum into Cool Cash Camp II, targeted toward middle-school students.

During this first year of implementation, the credit union facilitated eight middle school camps with 165 participants.

In 2018, Delta Community also incorporated financial literacy into its scholarship program and expanded its community partnerships to reach a broader student base.

Associated Credit Union won the second place Louise Herring Philosophy in Action Award among credit unions with more than $1 billion in assets.

The Louise Herring awards honor credit unions that are making exceptional efforts to include the credit union philosophy into daily operations. Associated won this national recognition with its Rate Reward Auto Loan Program. The program offers applicants with a credit score below 670 the opportunity to lower their interest rate by 3%, as long as they have make on-time, consecutive payments over the course of 36 months.

“The Rate Rewards program is a solution for our members with less than perfect credit to help them start with a rate that is affordable, reward on time payments, and ultimately help them improve their credit,” said Chadwick Evans, senior vice president of lending at Associated. “That puts them back in position to gain access to future credit at much better interest rates.”

The Rate Rewards program has been helping members improve their footing by reducing their risk of overdrafts and unpaid bills.

“These applicants with a low credit score are used to either seeing a denial when they apply for an auto loan, or the rates they’re offered are extremely out of their budget,” according to the credit union’s award application. “While our day-to-day operations are all based around the idea of helping people afford life, this program takes it a step further and helps serve those who most people overlook or try to take advantage of.”

The Credit Union National Association named Georgia United Credit Union as an honorable mention in its national competition for the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Services Award. 

The Dora Maxwell award commends credit unions for outstanding efforts in community outreach projects. Georgia United won this distinction with its School Crashers Program, which works with community partners to provide much needed makeovers to local schools that need them most.

“School Crashers is Georgia United’s annual makeover contest that unifies communities, media partners, donors and volunteers to complete improvement projects for deserving schools,” according to the credit union’s award application. “Last year, a total of 274 volunteers helped Georgia United complete an extensive school makeover for Title 1 school Rock Chapel Elementary in Lithonia, plus three additional schools received mini-makeover projects (like STEM gardens, media center makeovers and playground improvements) involving 171 additional volunteers.”

This isn’t the first time Georgia United won national recognition for its School Crashers Program. The credit union won a first-place Dora Maxwell with this program both last year as well as in 2015.