One of the largest credit unions in the US, State Employees' Credit Union (SECU) was founded in 1937 to serve state and public school employees in North Carolina. SECU now operates more than 240 offices and has about 1.7 million members. The member-owned non-profit credit union offers standard retail financial services such as checking, savings, and money market accounts; individual retirement accounts; term certificates; and credit cards. Its lending activities include home mortgages, car loans, boat loans, and personal loans. SECU also sells auto and homeowners insurance, as well as term life, health and long-term care coverage.
As the financial industry experienced massive upheaval during the economic crisis, SECU grew membership and assets (72,000 new members joined in fiscal 2011 alone). Customers flocked to the credit union as they saw it a safe place to put their money in such uncertain times. SECU's low/non-existent service fees also attracted customers fed up with big banks.
SECU's members are at the center of its focus. The credit union reached out to customers with existing loans during the recession. As many struggled to make mortgage payments due to unemployment and other problems, the credit union formed the Mortgage Assistance Program to help them members stay in their homes. So far, the program, which arranges payment extensions and partial payment options, has helped 8,000 families avoid foreclosure
The credit union also is expanding services. It plans to grow its tax preparation business to include tax preparers at each of its branches. SECU also is expanding its services such as insurance, investment services, estate planning, and trust services. – less
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