Due to the area’s low-income population: high poverty and unemployment rates; and a high dependency ratio, the far-eastside is deemed one of the most financially insecure areas of Indianapolis. A credit union is a financial institution that is a not-for-profit organization owned by all of its members. Credit unions focus on helping their members save, borrow, and receive affordable financial services. With at least three banks closing in the immediate area over the last several years, and a significant number of predatory lenders in its place (payday loans, check cashing, pawn shops), the option of having a federal credit union in the community would lend to developing financial security to the area.
This Board & committee has been committed to the process of starting a credit union by securing a solid partnership with the Indiana Credit Union League, receiving the charter from the National Credit Union Association to formalize and begin an extensive 17-step process. In 2018, members of the team visited the Ft. Wayne Union Baptist credit union, a black-owned credit union that also started at a church, to observe and learn best practices. The group has also surveyed the community to gauge interests, which confirmed the community’s need for financial institutions & services in our neighborhood. Already we have completed 7 of the 17 steps and are diligently working through this immense process. One of the major goals for 2019 is to complete the business plan for submission to the NCUA.