If St. Louis Community Credit Union’s capital position was on the menu at McDonald’s, it would be SUPER SIZE. If our capital was an SUV, it would be a tricked-out Escalade with the finest rims in the neighborhood. If the credit union’s capital position was a 1980s hairstyle, it would be really, really (I mean really) big hair. In other words, we have one heck of a lot of capital. The cushion we’ve created is the envy of the financial services industry (especially during these difficult times).
St. Louis Community has over 15% capital. That’s the percentage of our total assets that serves as our savings account. The state of Missouri requires us to be at 8%. At 8%, a credit union in Missouri is considered “well-capitalized.” So if you do the math, we must be “super-duper, colossal, deluxe, huge, over-the-top better than well-capitalized.” I’ve got one word for you – WOW!!!! Actually, another word too – SAFETY!!!
Over the years, we have taken the credit union’s earnings and put it away for the members in order to guard against difficult times. In other words, the more capital (savings) we have, the more comfortable you can be during difficult times. Well, guess what? Times are tough, but nevertheless, you can rest comfortably that your money is safe, sound and well managed.
Another way to look at this strong, safe and sound capital position is that you can rest assured that it is business as usual today and in the future. Lots of things are happening in the financial services world – wholesale credit unions included. But SLCCU’s history of capitalizing and creating a strong savings for a “rainy day” insures you have no worries. Add to our capital the $250,000 NCUA federal deposit insurance, and your money is safe in a REALLY BIG WAY!
At our Annual Meeting on March 19, we celebrated 66 years of serving our members. We opened our doors in 1942 – October to be exact. Our birthday celebration is always a bit belated, but that doesn’t diminish the significance of our humble beginnings. Back then, a handful of members came together to insure that their fellow employees in the school district had a source for loans should they need to borrow. As a result of that insightfulness, thousands of people over the years have had a little better go of it.
To this very day, lending money remains one of the major charges of St. Louis Community Credit Union. In the spirit of the cooperative credit union movement, we take member deposits and return it to our creditworthy members in the form of loans. We would rather make a good loan than any other type of investment. Currently, we have over $86 million in loans to our members, but more opportunities exist. Many members use other sources for their loans. We sure wish those loans were with us.
A member loan has always been our best investment. Why? A loan has a better net yield resultant in more return to all members. “Return” is a synonymous word with lower rates on loans to everyone, higher deposit rates, lower fees, more locations, etc. You get the idea…the more members that choose the credit union for their loan, the better off we all are. That’s the way co-ops work…“an all for one, one for all concept.”
There is no credit crisis at SLCCU. We continue to make loans every day. Others may have shut off the spigot on loans due to being inflicted by mortgage losses, but not us. Just as they did in 1942, loans remain a key component to serving our members. We remain committed to you and your family by increasing your standard of living and bettering your lifestyle. If a loan sounds like it may help you do that, give us a call first. We’d love to take a look and see if we can help.
“March Madness” is in full swing. This is reference to the national college basketball tournament and its “Road to the Final Four,” followed by the crowning of a national champion. The average Joe’s allegiance to their favorite team reaches a heightened state. Local pubs are jammed with the hard core b-ball fans proudly displaying their alma mater’s team colors. Starting today, everyone begins completing their brackets heading down a path to who is the best. Anticipation is in the air. The pace is frantic.
Of course, the championship game is played in April. OOPS! “March Madness” gets the press, but April is when the bling is awarded? Seems like a slight to April, but it’s used to it. April seems to always get “dissed.” It’s known for April Fools Day and April Showers. But May, (oh that media darling May) gets the flowers. April must be screaming for a little love. And to not be recognized for their key part in “March Madness” is just one more example of things that don’t make sense.
Sometimes St. Louis Community Credit Union feels a little like April. It just doesn’t make sense that we don’t get the love we deserve. Everybody’s talking about a credit crisis – not us. Need a loan? Please apply! Our CD rates need some respect as well – they’re some of the best you’ll find anywhere. Fees? We’re really low. Our service ratings are way, way up there. And yes, we are safe, sound and trusted. That’s a good thing during these trying times.
It’s worth a reminder that St. Louis Community Credit Union may not get all the press. We’re not in line for any recognition and rewards. A lot of competition doesn’t recognize us on their radar of concerns. But we keep on pluggin’. Much like April, we’re pretty important and our members are very appreciative. When you fill out your bracket, pick SLCCU…we’re YOUR champion!
I heard a great one today. You never know when life’s next lesson is going to knock on your door – or kick it in!
I spend a great deal of time reading some of the most noted publications of our time. Each of them is dedicated to intellectual stimuli that will help in the responsibility of leading a dynamic financial institution such as St. Louis Community Credit Union. These noted authors put forth mounds of analysis in hopes of shedding new light on the ever-shifting paradigms of our tumultuous time. I always study the text with great anticipation.
Then (as if on a breath of fresh air) comes along my Pastor Jeff. He circumvents all of the aforementioned sage advice with his own words of wisdom for success – applicable in both a personal and professional environment. He said that he has come to believe that there are two kinds of people…those who enter the room and say “here I am,” and those who enter the room and say “there you are.”
So I’m sitting there thinking “WOW.” The grey matter kicked into high gear and my thoughts played ping-pong for the next few hours. I volleyed with the assessment of (1) which person was I; and (2) which attitude is conveyed by St. Louis Community Credit Union?
The Credit Union is all about you and your fellow members. Whether you visit one of our eight offices or call on the phone, it is our intent to convey the warmth, love and care that comes with the “there you are” attitude. Our position is secondary to yours. You are the only reason we exist. To serve you is why we get up and come to work each day.
Well, “there you are” exemplifies great service. “Here I am” exemplifies the self-serving, for-profit attitude of so many financial institutions. I feel confident that St. Louis Community is the former and not the latter.
As for me, I know that humility is a key trait to success in leadership. I work hard every day to have a “there you are” attitude. With the thought in the front of my mind, I’m going to work even harder in the future.
Due to a lack of conscious planning, I ended up in Northern Michigan a couple of weeks ago. February in Northern Michigan, although beautiful, is far from the tropics. Everybody is dressed in a “Gore-Tex” coat – just like George Castanza from the wildly popular TV sitcom Seinfeld.
Who knows how many layers people are wearing? Gloves, hats, sweaters, multiple shirts, long underwear, socks with batteries, and fur-lined, lace-up boots were the attire of choice. Peeling off the layers must take some time and effort.
The same holds true when you find yourself in need of borrowing money. The financial institution starts peeling back the layers of a lifetime of financial activity to determine whether or not your loan request should be approved.
Have you ever wondered how a loan gets approved? The layers that represent years of your personal, financial and employment information are peeled back by credit-granting professionals. Most of the time, a loan underwriter (the decision-maker) focuses on what is commonly referred to in the industry as the 3 Cs of credit granting:
1)Collateral. You probably have a better chance for approval if you offer up security for the loan request. A car, house, CDs, savings accounts, etc., all serve to make your request a little more appealing. Collateral also usually drops the rate of interest you pay.
2)Capacity. You must have the ability to repay the loan, plus all the other debt and monthly obligations you currently owe. You know the answer to this concern better than anyone. Remember…don’t take out a loan you can’t repay.
3)Credit History. A credit score and your credit history are more than black ink on white paper – they represent your standard of living. A good score and good history lowers your rate and betters your chance for approval. Bad credit history either leads to a loan denial or an approval with a higher rate of interest.
If you want a better chance of getting your loan approved, get these three Cs in order. You may have some peeling back to do in your own right. Understand each of these concerns and whether or not they help your chances for approval. When you feel there is a weakness, peel back the issues and get to the root of the problem. Only then can you take a big step to procuring a loan.
Oh yeah, one more thing…stay warm. The good news is…spring is almost here!