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Credit Unions Truly Listen, Then Act, On Your Needs

by Heath Combs on October 16, 2014

Todd HallThis quarterly message was originally published in our third quarter newsletter. It was written by Todd Hall, Chief Operating Officer of Truliant Federal Credit Union.

We often share the financial success stories of our members internally at Truliant. It’s a way to champion the life-improving values we embrace with our employees.

There’s a common thread to these stories; most stem from actively listening to our members about how we can best meet their individual needs. At Truliant, we know that listening closely is paramount to helping you achieve your aspirations or to finding solutions for a financial obstacle.

For example, one manager recalled that while working on an auto loan a few years back, the member casually mentioned his dream to own a home. This spurred regular meetings to help the member align his finances with his plans for the future.

By simple active listening, the manager helped the member set up a systematic savings plan and provided guidance on a debt payment plan to strengthen his credit score. A few years later, this resulted in the member receiving a low interest rate mortgage loan for the home of his dreams. Our manager expressed how personally rewarding it was to play a major role in assisting this member in realizing his goal.

Actively listening to our members also has more immediate impacts. One member recently came into Truliant to use our free notary service for a Department of Motor Vehicles document. She mentioned she was planning to refinance her auto loan with an online company – who would drop her interest rate from 23% to 12%. With two years of good payment history under her belt, we knew we could do better. She was in disbelief when we came back with a 5.9% interest rate – saving her $200 a month over the life of the loan.

We differentiate ourselves from major banks by placing a high value on listening. Unlike banks, there’s no hidden incentive for us to meet your needs by pushing exotic new add-on products instead of finding the solution that has your best interest at heart.

Our approach is not just nodding our heads and waiting for our turn to sell you something you don’t need. You became an owner of Truliant when you became a member. Our responsibility as a not-for-profit financial cooperative is to serve you.

The fatigue of daily headlines pointing to a relentless sales culture at major banks fosters a distrusting attitude toward financial institutions. Bank account holders are rightfully wary they’ll need to continue keeping on guard against hidden fees to pay for the $250 billion in fines and settlements banks have accumulated since 2009.

Financial analysts predict this era of bumper fines – which, to put it in perspective, would take Ford Motor Company 29 very good years to earn in profits – isn’t over.

As a credit union driven by its mission to improve lives, Truliant offers a much better alternative. We have all the convenient services that most big banks have, but unlike these banks, we put you, our member, first over profits. At Truliant, our passion is doing what’s right for you to help you guide your future and achieve your goals.

We’re ready to listen to how we can help improve your life by helping you build something worth having.

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President’s Message: The Banker’s Dilemma

by Heath Combs on October 3, 2014

Truliant President and CEO Marcus Schaefer wrote this message for our quarterly newsletter released in October.

Marc Schaefer_2011
Oh Happy Day! The bankers are interested in selling services to consumers and small businesses again in the Carolinas and Virginia. A regional leader for a megabank in the trillion dollar asset range announced last week that bankers in Charlotte are “hungry for business” again. He also needed to address concerns that their product-pushing culture had resulted in opening accounts or credit lines for customers without their permission as bank employees sought to meet sales quotas. Therein lies the banker’s dilemma: how do you give priority to the stock shareholders through profit maximization while also truly taking into account the consumers’ best interest?

It is no coincidence that credit unions recently crossed the 100 million member-owner threshold in the U.S. More and more consumers are realizing that credit unions like Truliant are structured to prioritize your well-being and best interest over profits. Let’s say a consumer comes into a credit union and requests a $40,000 vehicle loan to buy the car or truck of their dreams. At Truliant, don’t be surprised if we remind you that you’ve told us that you’re saving for your child’s college expenses and that a $25,000 car loan will have you driving off in style, while keeping you on target for college funding. Most banks will likely drool at the prospect of the money they’ll make on the $40,000 loan and the employee may actually receive a commission for steering you away from a better overall decision impacting your broader financial goals.

Truliant is not in and out of the consumer and small business market, shifting emphasis where profits are highest. We have consistently encouraged savings and investments in the Credit Union as our members have rebuilt their personal financial balance sheets post-financial crisis. We also continued lending to individual members and small business members right through the downturn and bumpy recovery.

The point is that it’s not about “the bank” or “the credit union.” It’s about you the member, and your family. Truliant has understood this for the last 62 years and it can be seen in our decisions, policy, products and services. More importantly, you can sense it in our people and how we interact with you.

The mega-banks are still slogging through the penalties and fees for making and selling faulty mortgage loans. In fairness, many of these loans were made by institutions they acquired. Recently there were $15 billion and $17 billion dollar settlements.

Yet these behemoths are highly profitable. Federal regulators are raising the issue as to whether or not they are too large and unwieldy, representing a continuing risk to the economy in the future should one of them stumble again. They will either have to raise a great deal more capital or break into separate businesses.

Under any scenario, banks have the dilemma of trying to maximize profits. Truliant must only understand and meet our members’ needs while working to improve their lives. Although large banks do a great job servicing their large commercial clients, consumers are better served by mission-driven credit unions like Truliant. The benefit to your financial institution shouldn’t tip the scales in favor of pushing products that aren’t best for you.

Luckily, at Truliant we don’t have to choose.

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You Can Star In Truliant’s 2015 Ad Campaign

by Heath Combs September 15, 2014

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At Truliant, we’re committed to always putting your best interest first. So when it came time to cast for our 2015 advertising campaign, our own stars are the first people we thought of.
That’s right! Your family could be featured in our 2015 advertising campaign. Our goal is to help you build something worth having, strengthen [...]

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Snap A Photo For A Chance To Win $250!

by Heath Combs August 29, 2014

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From beach vacations to amusement park outings, we want to see how Truliant has improved your life.
Our 2015 Member Calendar Contest is your chance to share photos displaying the ways your membership with Truliant has benefited you. We’re accepting submissions from now until Sept. 21, 2014 and will open voting on Oct. 1, 2014 [...]

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The Differences Between Credit Unions and Banks

by Heath Combs August 20, 2014

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What exactly is the credit union experience? The following editorial was written by Truliant Chief Operating Officer Todd Hall for the Summer edition of our TruInsight quarterly newsletter.
Banks and credit unions are two very different animals.
Coming to Truliant Federal Credit Union with a business perspective shaped by two decades at regional and community banks, the [...]

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Truliant Building Convenient Branches of the Future

by Heath Combs August 12, 2014

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The following editorial was written by Truliant President and CEO Marcus Schaefer for the Summer edition of our TruInsight quarterly newsletter.
Not another red light! It’s scorching hot outside, traffic is backed-up. I’ve got maybe twenty minutes to stop by the Truliant branch to deposit a couple checks, get some cash and ask about a [...]

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Summer on Trade for Free Entertainment Each Saturday

by Heather August 4, 2014

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The rain on Saturday didn’t keep a crowd that was ready to dance away from Summer On Trade. This early August weekend Envision kept a big crowd on the asphalt dance floor with soul hits.

If you’ve been looking for something to do this summer that doesn’t require a lot of cash but is a [...]

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11 Summer Travel Tips For Keeping Your Finances Safe

by Heath Combs July 21, 2014

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Summer is proceeding quickly, but there’s still a lot of fun to be had. At Truliant, our goal is to help educate our members and provide you with new ways to help you ensure your travels are safe and worry-free when it comes to your financial security.
Before You Leave:
• Contact your local post office and [...]

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Three Ways To Get Ready For Christmas in July

by Heather July 16, 2014

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You see it everywhere and hear people talking about it but what does it actually mean – Christmas in July??
July is typically the hottest month of the year for us in the Northern Hemisphere while our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, like Australia and New Zealand are experiencing their coldest month. It’s hard to [...]

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Truliant’s New Website Coming Later This Year

by Heath Combs July 8, 2014

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The times they are a changing. And while some things should always stay the same – like making sure you have a financial partner that understands your needs – an evolving world of online and mobile technology demands we keep things convenient.
During the last several months, teams within Truliant have worked diligently to create [...]

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