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Community Financial Receives NCUA Grant, Gives Second Chances

Recently, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) announced that three low-income credit unions in Missouri would receive grants to invest back into their communities.

“Low-income credit unions play an essential role in their communities and supporting their work is a priority for NCUA,” says NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz. “The credit unions that receive these grants will be extending outreach, growing membership and improving income.”

Community Financial Credit Union (Springfield) was one of these grant recipients, and they intend to put that $5,000 to good use.

“We were so excited to hear we received the grant,” says Vicki Owens, vice president of communications for Community Financial. “These funds will help inform the local community about the many benefits of our ‘second-chance’ checking account and their ability to join a credit union.”

This second-chance account is called Square One Checking. It’s a fresh start for those who have had past account problems. If a member has a Square One Checking account for a year without any new ChexSystems records and limited NSFs, he or she can request to move to one of the credit union’s more traditional checking accounts.

“We all make mistakes, and Square One Checking offers members the opportunity to start over,” says Owens. “In addition, we also offer an online learning module for members who wish to improve their financial situations.”

Square One Checking includes all of the same features as the standard checking account, like a debit card, free online banking, free online bill pay, unlimited check clearings, no minimum balance, overdraft protection from savings and free direct deposit.

Community Financial will promote this service through social media and direct mailing. 

NCUA also awarded multi-initiative grants to St. Louis Community Credit Union and Holy Rosary Credit Union (Kansas City). In the following weeks, we’ll profile how these two credit unions will utilize grant funds.