A long-standing Mennonite Credit Union working to serve underserved across the country
Better Banking Options has many ties to faith-based giving organizations, and there is a long history of Christian charity in this country. It’s not surprising that there are also many credit unions in this country which bring the ideals of their faith to lending in their communities. Everence Credit Union is an example of a faith-rooted credit union, founded to serve and reflect the values of the Mennonite community.
The Mennonite denomination is based in the teachings of Jesus, which emphasize nonviolence, giving to those less fortunate, and mutual aid within their tightly knit communities. Reflecting this, Mennonites in this country have a history of nonviolent war resistance and the organization of charity efforts. Everence Credit Union has a similar history.
Everence CU was first formed after World War II as a loan program to help Civilian Public Service workers, who were conscientious objectors who opted to serve their country in ways other than military service. Eventually forming their own charitable organization, they partnered with local Mennonite congregations across the country to help members in need, and eventually even launched a comprehensive financial planning service to offer their customers. While they specifically serve all those involved in Anabaptist and Mennonite organizations, they also accept any members who “share values consistent with the Anabaptist understanding of Christian stewardship.”
They practice what they call “stewardship investment,” meaning they invest in ways that reflect their values and that make their communities better places to live. They not only offer traditional banking services and accounts with competitive rates, they also have many connected charitable organizations, like their Everence Sharing Fund, which helps their members with basic needs when times get tough. Giving like this has been especially essential in the last year, as COVID has made it much harder for people to find work and recover from financial hardship
Overall, Everence Credit Union serves people in 13 states and many different communities with the kind of devotion and faith expected from a long-standing Mennonite organization. This geographic dispersion weighs down their score on our Better Banking Options metric, but it remains a great banking option. We recommend them to anyone looking to support charitable efforts and alternative lending through their deposits, and who share a faith background or identify deeply with Mennonite or Anabaptist values. Check out their website to learn more, or move some money there today!