Lending on Character Rather Than Risk


When my husband and I were searching for a lender to purchase a 42’ sailboat, we went to our credit union Service 1 FCU. The problem was that what we needed for it was above the maximum limit of their lending policy. All the same, they went out of their way to approve our loan request.

Our loan officer took this request to the CEO/Board to approve an exception to the policy and we got our boat! And the interest rate was still the best we found. This loan was approved online and we had our funds in time for the Memorial Day weekend! Sailing on ‘MoonRaker’ let us enjoy Lake Michigan, evening sunsets and multiple ports along the coast line.

This is one way Service 1 FCU showed that I am an owner and deserved a little more attention. It was a win-win situation for both the credit union and us. There is value in lending on character, rather than on any risk management numbers.

Credit unions offer mobile/online banking, e-statements, and surcharge free ATMs. And their own certified financial counselors at no cost helps the membership look to a brighter future with repairing credit, home ownership, credit card purchasing power and building a college or retirement nest egg. They also offer lower interest rates, higher deposit dividends and lower fees.

But more than that, credit unions are member-focused cooperatives that work with their members to provide the best services precisely because it’s those members (not customers) that are the owners. We’re thankful that our credit union worked with us to get us on water.


  • Barb Cooper

    As Programming Services Manager, Barb engages with programming teams to improve project workflow, provide training, manage the marketing side of programming, and coordinate team relations with those outside the programming department. Barb also provides programming research for client serving staff, improves programming department documentation, is involved in the efforts to improve the CU*BASE database, and attends focus groups and client sessions to represent the programming department. Throw in a little programming as well.

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