APGFCU: Where you belong.
At first, it might sound like a cliché statement. However, stop for a moment and contemplate the meaning of those words. The credit union is not just another organization of which you are a member. When you belong to a credit union, you belong to a larger community, made up of individuals from all walks of life. The credit union builds bridges between these individuals, creating synergy, which allows us to help the greater community with its financial needs.
At the core of this “belonging” is the basic concept that you are a member-owner. You can be a member of many kinds of organizations, such as a health club. But do you have a voice in helping to shape the business of that health club? As a member-owner of a credit union, you have the opportunity to do just that. Through a democratic process, you directly elect the people who shape this financial cooperative. Your board, volunteers, management and staff are a team of dedicated professionals who genuinely care about your financial well-being.
This leads to empowerment, which is the heart of our mission: "to empower our members to use and control their money to improve their economic and social condition."
Where else but a credit union would you find a Credit Builder program, giving people who have been turned down by other lenders the opportunity to build or rebuild their credit at a fair rate of interest? Furthermore, that rate can be lowered after making a year’s worth of ontime payments! Over 1,400 members were able to obtain $14.5 million in Credit Builder loans in 2015.
Where else but a credit union would you find a Buy Local program? We thank the 33 businesses in Harford and Cecil counties that participated in Buy Local in 2015. The goal of this program is to maximize the dollars in circulation within the two counties, while adding value for our members.
Consider some of the amazing things we’ve accomplished together over the past year alone.
- We held 751 financial education teaching and coaching sessions, helping 9,077 individuals. A total of 3,323 adults and 5,754 youth were reached. In addition, 701 members utilized our free GreenPath financial counseling program.
- We granted our members $20.2 million in home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), the highest level of HELOC activity since before 2007.
- APGFCU ranked number one in deposit market share in Harford and Cecil counties combined, with 16.2% of total deposits.
- We added 13,220 new members, as word of the value that APGFCU offers continued to spread throughout Harford and Cecil counties.
- Our RAM Branch at the Edgewood High School Academy of Finance celebrated its fourth year of operations, giving a number of students the opportunity to gain real-world experience by participating in the daily operations of a branch office.
- We were named 2015's "Best Bank/Credit Union," voted by Harford Magazine readers for the fourth consecutive year. We also received for the second year in a row two 2015 Cecil Whig awards: "Readers' Favorite Bank or Credit Union” and "Readers' Favorite Lender."
The credit union movement is a movement of people; and it is very much alive. We are making a positive impact on individual lives and in the community. We have grown to over $1 billion in assets, and still remain true to our People Helping People philosophy. Thank you for being an integral part of our financial cooperative. Together, we will continue to achieve great things, empowering more people in our community to take charge of their financial lives and improve their economic and social conditions.
Don W. Lewis