Sarai joined our credit union after taking a personal finance class in high school. “I wanted to apply the skills I learned about calculating and saving money,” she said. “And Cooperative Federal feels like home; whether I’m visiting one of their locations or speaking on the phone with a teller, the personal interest they show me is something I can’t get at a big corporation.”
Linda’s favorite part about banking with our credit union is “the family vibe,” she says. “There’s always someone here who will say, ‘oh yeah we’ll work with you on that, don’t worry about it.’ Coop Fed in the community is one of those necessities of life. What they give and what they are to new people in the community is beautiful.”
For Jesse and Carolina, getting a good auto loan is just as important as getting a good car. “This was my first time getting a formal car loan and I found the process simple and stress-free,” Jesse recalls, “plus we got a really good rate which was a definite perk.”
Buying a home can be complicated – and overwhelming. But with Coop Fed, Kayi found support to help her push through fear and believe in herself. She recalls with a smile the many times she told our homeownership specialists, “I’m scared.” But they wouldn’t let her give up. “They kept telling me, ‘You can do it,’ “she recalls.
When Shakiba decided she wanted to be a homeowner, she came to Coop Fed. “I already knew I could trust the credit union because of the positive experience I had when they helped me purchase my first car,” she said. Especially as a New American accustomed to a different banking system, “I had no idea what to do when I started… The homebuyer program really helped me and made a difference in my experience of this process.”
Jery started his own business to not only to build a future for his family, but to help revitalize Syracuse neighborhoods. “We need to invest in our communities and leave a legacy for our children,” he said. “Coop Fed has been thoroughly imperative to the process of helping my business grow.”
For Chelsea, buying her first home wasn’t only about financial health – it was about personal growth and independence. “I was decorating and kind of looked around and was like I’m home,” she said. “No more paying rent to someone else. This is mine. I got this for myself.”
Carlotta, a local landlord, refinanced high-cost debt into a new mortgage with cash out for home repairs. She says that improving her property not only helped her and her tenants; it “made it better for the whole neighborhood.”
Becky owns Lead Safe LLC, a local business focused on lead paint testing and remediation. COVID-19 recovery funding “made it possible for Lead Safe to continue training lead abatement specialists” during the pandemic, “keeping our business in operation” and helping them continue to “make lead-safe spaces for families and children in Syracuse.”
When her old employer moved out of town, Tiffany launched her own sheet metal fabrication shop. Her vision was to not only preserve jobs and services in CNY, but to be welcoming and inclusive. Today, Punch & Die Metal Fabrication is a “friendly place where young people, college students, DIY-ers, weekend worriers, and the general public can come and have their project parts made,” Tiffany said.
Tanisha got ready for homeownership with financial counseling, down payment grants, and a mortgage from Coop Fed. “Every single staff member who assisted me during this process treated me with respect and answered any question I had,” she recalls. “Instead of looking at me and seeing a single black woman with two small kids, Coop Fed’s mortgage department saw my desire for homeownership as a strength.”
Tahirah comes from a family of Coop Fed members and open her first account as a child. “As I grew older, in addition to learning the value of saving, I began to understand the importance of investing in our local community,” she said. “While other banks charge huge fees and talk about the multi-million dollar business they helped, our credit union focuses on helping those within our region.”