Merger is effective October 1
For Immediate Release --- On Tuesday, September 25, 2018, members of CommunityWorks Federal Credit Union (CWFCU) voted to merge with Self-Help Credit Union (Self-Help) based in Durham, NC. The $3.4 million credit union, CWFCU, was chartered in 2014 to provide financial services to people of modest means in Greenville, South Carolina that are considered unbanked and under banked. CWFCU was organized by CommunityWorks, a leading non-profit community loan fund based in Greenville, SC and focused on affordable housing, financial stability and small business lending.
“Our extensive work on affordable housing drew our attention to credit scores as a critical barrier to homeownership,” said Deborah McKetty, CommunityWorks and CWFCU CEO. “We launched the credit union as an alternative to predatory lending in our community. The products CWFCU provides allow members to build credit and achieve important financial milestones like homeownership.”
In just 4 short years, the credit union currently serves nearly 1,500 members and experienced extraordinary growth resulting in 765 loans totaling over $4 million. Families have saved over $1.5 million in high interest by avoiding the extremely high costs loans– equating to over $2,200 a year for our members.
This tremendous growth challenged the board to examine how to scale its products and services to bring homeownership and financial stability to more of the Greenville community. Extensive research demonstrated that it would take over a decade to raise enough funds to offer mortgage loans. “The board decided that we would look at strategic partners that could help us get there faster,” said CWFCU Chair John Malone. “When Self-Help Credit Union made the offer to combine efforts, our board felt that they are the best strategic partner we could bring to the community.”
“The combined strengths of CommunityWorks and Self-Help will bring real depth to the Greenville area,” states Self-Help CEO Martin Eakes. “This merger will bring additional products and services to CWFCU’s members, while retaining the passion for service that made the organization so unique.”
CWFCU’s deposit rates will increase significantly following the merger. Self-Help also offers a full range of financial products and services including personal, vehicle and home loans, as well as online, mobile and audio banking capabilities.
United Way of Greenville County and Hollingsworth Funds are foundational supporters of the credit union’s mission and provided the initial capital to open. “United Way of Greenville County is very excited about this alliance with Self-Help and what it will do to bring even more resources to the Upstate,” said Meghan Barp, United Way of Greenville County President and CEO. “Hollingsworth Funds saw the need in 2014 and are proud of CommunityWork's efforts to create a mission focused credit union in our market. We are very familiar with Self Help's transformative work in Durham and excited to welcome them to Greenville,” shared Minor Shaw Board Chair for the Hollingsworth Funds and Duke Endowment in NC. The newly merged credit union will continue to collaborate with CommunityWorks Loan Fund and will be co-located at their offices at 100 West Antrim.
Self-Help is one of the largest Community Development Financial Institutions in the United States. Since 1980, it has provided over $7 billion in financing to over 146,000 families, individuals and businesses. Self-Help helps drive economic development and strengthen communities by providing responsible financial services; lending to individuals, small businesses and nonprofits; developing real estate; and promoting fair financial practices across the nation.
Self-Help Credit Union is headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, and has branches seven states, adding South Carolina as part of its recent merger with Palmetto Trust Federal Credit Union. Learn more at www.self-help.org