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Missouri Credit Unions Earn National Recognition

CommunityAmerica Credit Union (Kansas City), Joplin Metro Credit Union and St. Louis Community Credit Union earned first place for their entries in the national credit union recognition awards program.

CommunityAmerica received a Desjardins award for its multifaceted adult financial education programs like Financial Makeover, which helped participating families increase their savings by more than $82,000 this year.

“We’re honored to receive the National Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award because financial literacy is such a key component to what we do at CommunityAmerica,” says Lisa Ginter, chief operating officer. “We’ll continue offering these important and much-needed financial literacy programs to ultimately help break the cycle of debt in this country.”

Joplin Metro earned a Dora Maxwell award for its community efforts following the devastating tornado that struck Joplin
in May. The credit union was able to help members recover and keep their finances safe even though credit union staff members were personally affected by the disaster as well.

“Although we are a smaller credit union, we are involved in many community projects,” says Cindy Atteberry, president/ CEO. “Our employees are always willing to give of themselves, their time, and to even have their own families help with events.”

St. Louis Community set out to help its members escape the payday lending trap with an innovative product, The Payday Saver Loan, which earned a Louise Herring award. The Payday Saver Loan is designed to give payday loan users a more reasonable way to pay back their debt with options
like refinancing and a lower APR. Between November of 2010 and June of 2011, St. Louis Community issued 291 Payday Saver Loans, representing $249,663 of refinanced and consolidated payday loan debt.

“The program is saving our members money, building positive credit scores and improving the standard of living for some of our most vulnerable members of society,” says Paul Woodruff, community development manager. “During these times of economic uncertainty, we view the current results from the Payday Saver Loan program as a success for the credit union, our members and the surrounding community.”

The credit unions will be recognized in March at the 2012 Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.