Credit Union USF

When opening a new checking or savings account, how do you decide which bank to choose? Many individuals gravitate towards the large, corporate banks with their high-profile advertising, special offers or simply their family or spouse’s choice of bank.

For many individuals, however, a nonprofit credit union — such as the University of South Florida Federal Credit Union (USF FCU) with a branch in New Tampa, serving the needs of USF students, employees and others (see below) — may offer a better option for the whole family rather than the for-profit banks.

Just ask Deborah I. Clark, Vice-President of Marketing and Business Development/Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for USF FCU. Clark explains that, “When a member enters a bank, they usually have to walk up to a teller counter or sign-in and wait until an employee is available to meet with them. In our lobby, we have teller pods with Member Service Representatives (MSRs) who are cross-trained to assist members [or potential members] with handling transactions, applying for loans or even assisting them on the touch-screen kiosk.”

She adds that the kiosks can be used as an educational tool to learn to use mobile check deposit services or online bill pay, among other services. Clark — who earned a B.S. in Business Management degree from Gardner Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC, and an M.S. in Administration degree from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant — explains how members benefit from credit unions.

“The profits from the credit union go back to members in the form of low to no fees, higher yields on savings and certificates and low interest rates on consumer loans, mortgage rates and credit cards, ” says Clark. “We also give back to the USF and Tampa community, including the 2014 Cruise for Kids benefiting local children’s charities.”

Birth Of The Credit Union

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)’s website explains that the Federal Credit Union Act (FCUA) of 1934 (with the most recent revision occurring in April 2013) defines the American credit union movement as, “A cooperative effort to serve the productive and provident credit needs of individuals of modest means.” Furthermore, credit unions are, “member-owned, democratically operated, not-for-profit organizations generally managed by volunteer boards of directors and…have the specified mission of meeting the credit and savings needs of consumers, especially persons of modest means.”

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