Dear Friends and Supporters,

Self-Help members are busy people. Some are working two or three jobs. They’re caring for children, starting businesses, buying homes, building their credit and pursuing other ambitious goals, often in spite of obstacles. We are honored to serve them and to tell some of their stories in this report.

Last year saw continued growth in our credit unions. In May 2017, Self-Help Federal Credit Union merged with Seaway Bank, based on the south side of Chicago. Seaway was once one of the largest African-American-owned banks in the nation. In June 2017, Self-Help Credit Union merged with Jax Metro in Jacksonville, Florida. Jax Metro started in 1935 to serve local utility workers. Both of these mergers help us continue strong legacies and expand services in areas with great needs.

We are now serving 145,000 members in 45 cities in North Carolina, California, Florida, Illinois and Wisconsin. With our dedicated staff and many partners, we achieved the following results last year:

  • 2,560 home loans to families, direct mortgages and through partners in the secondary market
  • $77 million in consumer loans
  • $75 million in loans to small businesses and nonprofits, creating or maintaining 1,170 jobs
  • 3,200 new child care and classroom spaces
  • $25 million invested in commercial real estate

In 2017, the Center for Responsible Lending marked its 15th anniversary, celebrating many successes in fighting abusive lending practices and standing up for stronger protections. With the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under attack, and families still threatened by payday lending and abusive for-profit student loans, this fight is far from over.

We are painfully aware of all the work that needs to be done and the growing wealth disparities that make our work even harder. Policies have been stacked against working families in many ways, from low minimum wages to unfair obstacles to ownership. We are in a time that calls for bold and comprehensive actions. With your help and support, we will continue our mission in multiple fronts and work for the greatest impact possible.


Martin Eakes

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