“They got me through some pretty rough times. I will be a member for life!” – A.J.A.
Not every event in life is clear and planned. Life has its ups and downs.
We get that. Just because we work at and with the First Choice Federal Credit Union, doesn’t mean we aren’t immune to the trials life can throw at us.
We’ve experienced job loss, and gaining employment. We understand the possibility of having a comfortable savings account balance, and living paycheck to paycheck. We know the elation of a new baby boy or baby girl joining the family, and the sadness that comes with a death.
We aren’t just the employees of First Choice after all, we are its members – and the members of this community!
A member needed our help
So when one of our family started to have financial issues, started to experience career issues and was just on a “down”, we wanted to step up.
“I had a really good job, but lost it a few years ago. I had a really hard time finding a new one. All of my bills got behind. My credit score was really going down. I had a lot of creditors calling, trying to collect money that wasn’t there. The credit union called to collect money, and I did my very best to make small payments whenever I could.”
When we called this member, and found out his full story, we could do one of two things…
- Be a part of the problem – and further complicate an already complicated situation
- Be part of the solution, and help this member fix his issues
This wasn’t even a choice…
“But First Choice is the only place that called to check and see how I was doing. They worked with me, and understood when I had some setbacks. They treated me with respect and dignity, when I had a hard time salvaging some.”
And then things from bad to great
This member was in a low. He had just lost his job, and the extension of that was his family has lost their income. Debt and debt collectors were piling up. First Choice wasn’t his only option, but we thankfully were a valuable one.
After a few more weeks, he found a job. A job that would allow him to feel that he was making his family comfortable, would get all of his bills paid, and also allow him to get back on track with his savings accounts.
But, there was a catch…
“When I got my new job, I needed some equipment and supplies for my new position – it was $600 that I didn’t have.”
I wouldn’t be able to get the job without that money.
I had no place to turn. So, I called First Choice.
They told me that because I kept in contact with them, and they could see that I tried to pay them back, they would be in my corner.
I got the extra $600…and my job.
That loan is now paid off.
I now have a new loan that is being paid off, and my credit score is increasing.
I will always remember the kindness that Toni, and the manager of First Choice showed me and my family. They got me through some pretty rough times. I will be a member for life!”
This First Choice member isn’t simply “an account”. He is a member, an investor in the credit union. He is also a living, breathing part of this community.
While we cannot say ‘yes’ to every loan, and help this specifically in every case, this member’s path was clear to us and to him. Without our help, he would not have that job long and would again be the exact same position. With our help, the sky was the limit.
Lessons we, at First Choice, learned from this member
In every interaction with our membership, we grow. We hear the needs of our members, and our community, and try to evolve to meet them.
With this particular case, we saw something very evident – he wanted to be in good standing with his creditors and with the credit union. He felt responsible, not just to his family, but to us, his credit union, for repaying his debts.
And that trust he gave us, we wanted to give back to him.
So when he asked us about that equipment and supplies loan for his new job, we knew what it was – a smart investment, both in terms of money and it terms of people.