Local First Blog

Lake Michigan Credit Union Puts People First

Sep 28, 2021 10:15:00 AM / by Local First

Local banks and credit unions are part of a toolkit of sustainable solutions that drive change in our place-based economies. To dig deeper, Local First connected with Lake Michigan Credit Union earlier this month in an effort to learn how they keep our dollars close to home and create people-first solutions.
 

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Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and the work you pursue. 

A: My name is Adrienne Postma and I am the Vice President of Retail Sales and Service at Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU).

 

Q: What do you love most about serving communities across Michigan?

A: I love that we are able to help the members of our community achieve financial milestones in their lives. From financing their first home or first car, to helping them with accounts for their business, to helping their children open their first bank accounts, I really feel like we are able to help our neighbors on a daily basis through the large variety of products and services we’re able to offer them.

 

Q: What role do local financial institutions play in small business lending?

A: Small businesses are an extremely important part of any community. We live and work in the same community where our local, small businesses are looking to grow and thrive, so it's important that we do what we can to support them. LMCU offers a variety of loans and deposit solutions for businesses of all sizes, that can grow with your organization as you grow.

 

Q: How do credit unions work to put people first and give back to the community?

_22A3570A: Not only do you earn more and pay less with Lake Michigan Credit Union, but we treat our members like neighbors because they usually are. We don't have shareholders to impress, we simply have a mission to do what's best for our members. We work to help businesses grow, neighborhoods thrive, and make our communities even better places in which to live and work.

When school teacher Lloyd F. Hutt opened Grand Rapids Teachers Credit Union in 1933, his goal was to help keep his neighbors' lights on during a very dark time in our economy. Fast forward 85 years later, and we're still lending a hand to our neighbors. 

Today, we continue to give back to our communities through donations, sponsorships, and volunteerism. As an organization, we focus the majority of our community engagement efforts on ensuring equitable access for all to learn and succeed, health-related services, and a path to homeownership or other affordable housing options. For example, our Lloyd F. Hutt scholarship program has awarded more than $460,000 to high school seniors, members and employees donate thousands of dollars each year to benefit pediatric programs through our Band Together campaign, and each year we award $25,000 in grants to 25 teachers across Michigan and Florida through our Roots in Education grant program. 

 

Q: We know that community banks and credit unions offer better services than their national counterparts at typically a lower cost. What does this looks like at LMCU?Credit Union

A: Lake Michigan Credit Union is fundamentally different than a bank, both in our structure and mission. Our goal has always been to do what's best for our members. Our staff truly care for our members and enjoy developing relationships with them. 

New LMCU member, Patti, joined LMCU after a friend told her about using LMCU's Free Checking to create sub-accounts for their digital envelope budgeting system. Patti and her fiancé, Ryan, were able to increase their wedding savings by $500 in the first three months using LMCU's Free Checking with no minimum balances to help them budget. They have since moved all their accounts to LMCU because according to Patti, "We got better rates, and the team at LMCU makes me feel like they are happy to have me as a member."

Lower rates on loans and higher rates on savings will never maximize profit margins, but just like our founder, we're motivated by a cause much deeper than pockets. Doing what's right for our members truly drives everything we do. 

 

Q: What advice or steps would you give to someone looking to move their money?

A: As a credit union, our goal isn’t to generate profits for shareholders. It’s to improve the lives of our members. That’s why LMCU is rated #1 in the nation for Return of Member by Callahan & Associates – that means we give more back to our members in the form of higher rates when they save and lower rates when they borrow. At LMCU, the emphasis on delivering real value to our members has been job one, since day one.

When you move your money to LMCU, know that you are keeping your hard-earned money in your community. You’re investing in equal access for all to learn and succeed, health services in your community, and a path to homeownership for those who need it most, just to name a few. Banking with a credit union that aligns with your values is just one way to use your finances to support positive social change, knowing that ultimately, we will always be putting our members first! 

If you'd like to move your money, it's easy and takes just a couple of minutes to become a member. Our team members at one of our convenient West Michigan branch locations would be happy to help ease the transition for you. You can also get started by calling (800) 242-9790 or visiting us online at LMCU.org/ebranch

 

Q: How can businesses, families, and individuals get involved with Lake Michigan Credit Union?

A: Anyone can be a member at Lake Michigan Credit Union, and becoming a member is incredibly easy. You don’t have to belong to any specific industry, company, or organization to join LMCU. From low auto rates and low down payments on your mortgage to more money back on your checking account and business banking account, the variety of products and services we offer provide a solution to almost anyone. Stop in to speak to one of our amazing staff or visit LMCU.org today to get started.

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Tags: Local Business, Inclusive Economy, Business Resources

Local First

Written by Local First