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Community Voices

Community Voices

We are kicking off the new year by featuring members’ voices, highlighting stories of financial victories both large and small. It’s not easy to manage debt or save enough to buy a home, but we see our members succeed again and again. We offer tools and resources for financial empowerment; our members provide the determination.

At Self-Help, our mission is creating and protecting ownership and economic opportunity for all. We invest in our members and provide them with the tools to succeed financially. Learn about just a few of the successes here.


Meet Andre from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Andre was on his way to becoming a successful business owner when the pandemic hit. His business experienced losses, causing his credit profile to suffer. Fortunately, Andre’s initiative and “can do” spirit helped him get back on his feet. Andre opened an account at Self-Help Federal credit Union, took out a Credit Builder Loan and applied for a Secured Credit Card. In less than a year, he improved his credit score by nearly 250 points! Recently he even closed on a personal signature loan with the credit union.

Today Andre is one of our best ambassadors, and he wants to spread the word. “I see a lot of people that need this product who don’t understand how much they need it. I want to be the first to share this gem with them. It can single-handedly change your life!”

If you would like to explore a Credit Builder Loan or a secured credit card as part of your own financial journey, please contact us. We would love to tell you more.


Meet Frances from San Jose, California

Unable to afford expensive repairs, and with a credit score that only qualified her for sky-high interest rates, Frances was in a constant state of worry: Would her car start when she headed out to work? Would she get stranded on the road while taking her son to the hospital?

With determination, Frances came to Self-Help Federal CU seeking a car loan. Thanks to a partnership with Peninsula Family Service (PFS), a Bay Area nonprofit that has served the San Mateo and Santa Clara communities for over six decades, and their DriveForward program, Frances was able to get a loan for a reliable car.

If you would like to learn more about our competitive auto loan rates, click here.



Meet the Rodriguez Family from Porterville, California

When the Rodriguez family came to Self-Help in 2018, they weren’t financially ready to take on a mortgage. Undeterred, they took steps to qualify. Ms. Rodriguez got a full-time job to bring in more income, and the family diligently gathered documents to support their application. They considered going to a high-interest private lender, but returned to Self-Help, where we were happy to take another look and approve the loan.

Learn more about our home loans here.


Meet Stacey and Travis from Tarboro, North Carolina

Another determined home buyer we’ve had the pleasure of meeting was Stacey Cotton of Tarboro, North Carolina. For years, Ms. Cotton had wanted to own a home, and she started learning all she could about how to prepare and qualify. “I was going to become a homeowner no matter how long it took,” she said. Finding an affordable place that met her needs wasn’t easy, but today she and her husband Travis (they’re newlyweds!) enjoy having more space in their own home.

Learn more about our home loans here.


Meet Vanessa from Charlotte, North Carolina

When Vanessa Massey and her two children moved into their own home in 2019, it was a dream come true. But when Vanessa became ill with COVID-19, both her health and her house were at risk. She was one among thousands of homeowners that Self-help worked with to modify their loans or pause payments (forbearance) so that families could get through the hardships of the pandemic without harming their credit or losing their home.

Need help with a current loan? Give us a call at 800-966-7353.


Meet Jennifer, from Brevard, North Carolina

Jennifer and her husband were looking for a vehicle they could convert into a traveling camper van, to finally take those trips they had been dreaming about. The type of van they had their eye on was in high demand. Self-Help was able to make the auto loan application quick and easy, and she and her husband were able to purchase the van before it went to another buyer.

If you would like to learn more about our competitive auto loan rates, click here.