We started hearing about this Lion Credit Union Initiative (LCUI) and sent Credit Caper Sanat Kapur to investigate.
To start with, what is a credit union? It’s a bank, except it’s not run by a bunch of profit hungry executives who don’t care about usually broke college students; it’s run by usually broke college students like you.
Basically, credit unions are awesome. The LCUI would be able to provide the Columbia community with regular banking services with lower interest rates on loans, higher interest rates on savings, and lower fees. Besides this, the union would also be able to provide financial services tailored to the Columbia community–this entails many advantages from easier access to student loans to being able to easily pay your rent or tuition.
The LCUI would also invest its returns back into the community either by providing better and cheaper services to their customers, or by helping out student organizations with funding. The union is also going to be focused on increasing financial literacy in the Columbia community through regular workshops and seminars.
If you’re worried about security, you should know that credit unions are actually subject to even stricter regulation by the government, since the people running them are usually less experienced than bankers. Also, your money will be insured up to $250,000.
At the first meeting, the LCUI team introduced themselves, spoke about how awesome the credit union is, and how the Columbia community can get involved. The team has been working hard all summer to put the framework for the union in place, and will spend the next year working with the community and the administration so that they are able to submit an application to the National Credit Union Administration within the next twelve months.
What can you do to help? Firstly, the Credit Union does not want your money – at least not yet. To ensure that their application to the NCUA goes through successfully, the LCUI needs to demonstrate community support for the initiative. If you want to help make the LCUI a reality, check out their website and fill out this survey.
Bwog’s bank via Shutterstock