Dear Friends and Supporters,

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We had an unexpected guest at Self-Help’s annual meeting last November. A pastor from Charlotte, NC drove all the way to Durham—in pouring rain and during rush hour—to ask if he could speak. He had a simple mission: to thank a member of our staff for helping him resolve a difficult financial situation.

We were touched by this gesture and happy for this member's success. Thanks to all of our members for the trust, support and inspiration you give us every day.

Here are some of our key results from 2018:

  • 2,100 home loans to families through direct mortgages and partners in the secondary market
  • $49 million in consumer loans
  • $73 million in loans to small businesses and nonprofits, creating or maintaining 1,600 jobs
  • 2,300 new child care and classroom spaces
  • $26 million invested in commercial real estate

Last year also represented a milestone for Self-Help Federal Credit Union, as we celebrated its 10th anniversary. Self-Help Federal CU now has assets of more than $1 billion and operates 27 branches in California, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Self-Help Credit Union completed two mergers in South Carolina in 2018, welcoming Palmetto Trust Federal Credit Union (Columbia, SC), and CommunityWorks Federal Credit Union (Greenville, SC). Many communities in the state are facing economic challenges, and we are excited to build a South Carolina presence to help address these challenges. Self-Help Credit Union also expanded its work in Florida during 2018, most notably the construction of a new branch in Apopka.

The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) is now in its sixteenth year, and our mission to protect family wealth remains critical. After working for more than a decade to help establish state and federal rules against predatory “payday loans,” CRL is now fighting efforts that would weaken those protections for vulnerable families. We also are working for reforms in student loans, debt collection, consumer loans and mortgages.

Looking ahead, we know that there are still powerful forces working against economic opportunity. It is a horrific time for immigrants, too many U.S. children go hungry, and hard-won gains in fair lending and voting rights are being threatened. And the effects of the Great Recession still linger, magnifying racial inequities that ultimately weaken us as a nation.

No single response will be sufficient to address these challenges. But we continue to believe in the power of ownership fueled by fair loans. Many of our members are short on assets, but they are rich in talent and determination. With your support, Self-Help will continue to offer financing, advocacy and technical assistance, and then stand in awe of the amazing things our members do. 


Martin D. Eakes

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