A small credit union serving members in Savannah with fantastic small business lending
In the process of testing our developing search engine, we’ve been looking at the results of searching in cities in which we’ve already done a fair amount of research to see if the Better Banking Options we recommend matched up with those at the top of the data-generated list. Although this has proven that there’s a lot more tweaking that needs to be done in how we interpret available banking data, we’ve also had the opportunity to find great Better Banking Options that we might not have considered or looked at before. This is especially true for credit unions, as before having our search engine with all of the NCUA reports, there was no easy way for us to look at the lending data for credit unions.
However, we still are looking for publicly available low- and moderate-income housing data for credit unions, as the only place we know to get this particular kind of lending data is through NCIF, which doesn’t cover credit unions. We still primarily rely on BankLocal to find lending data on credit unions, and they only report small business lending and small farm lending as a percentage of the bank’s total assets. This is why we were so shocked when checking out the stats of a credit union--one that ended up at the top of our list when running all credit unions through the current version of our search engine--and found that they were using 52% of their total assets for small business loans.
Workmen’s Circle Credit Union is a small, local credit union in Savannah, GA, which has been working for more than a half a century to provide exceptional financial service and loan products to their members. They started as, essentially, a loan fund, formed by a group of Jewish businesspeople who wanted loans at fair rates for Jewish immigrants in their community, as traditional banks were likely to turn them away. As they continued to thrive, they established a credit union to extend their focus to “serve individuals who live or work in Chatham County and are unable to join other occupational credit unions in the area.”
While they don’t offer checking accounts, this credit union is still an easy one to invest in if you live or work in the Savannah area, as they offer a no-fee savings accounts with a better rate of return than most. Besides having a variety of different savings options, they also offer a wealth of loan products. They’re still an extremely small and locally-focused institution, having only $71 million in assets and one location (which is probably why they ended up at the top of our list: being local is currently weighed more heavily than we would like).
Although Workmen’s Circle CU may not end up at the top of our list of credit unions when we’ve finalized our weighting, it’s still a fantastic Better Banking Option for anyone in Savannah looking to invest in small business lending. Hopefully in the future, we’ll be able to find out more about their housing lending in low- and moderate-income census tracts. If you’re eligible for membership, check out their website for one of their savings accounts or loan products.