By Megan Sayles,
AFRO Business Writer,
“Residents don’t have many opportunities where MLFCU’s location was to find other banking institutions, so we are now right in their neighborhood,” said Jeffrey Gehris, chief operating officer of Securityplus FCU.
“Anyone who worships at Mount Lebanon or their family members can walk into our branches, call over the phone, or go online and open an account.”
Unlike a traditional bank, a federal credit union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative where members are the owners and possess an equal share in the credit union. Its board of directors is made up of members, and they volunteer their time to shape the future of the credit union.
Securityplus FCU has been operating in the Baltimore area for more than 85 years. It serves over 34,000 members and offers a wide range of financial services, including savings, checking and money market accounts, investment solutions, credit and debit cards, certificates of deposit and digital and mobile banking.
The credit union also offers its members lower lending rates with loan options varying from home equity loans to quick cash loans.
“When [MLFCU] approached us, they approached us from a point of we want our members to have the opportunity for a full banking relationship and to truly experience financial health,” said Gehris.
“One of our goals at Securityplus is to ensure that all of our members now and all of our members in the future are financially healthy.”
Based in Baltimore, MLFCU was founded in 1970 when the Mount Lebanon pastor forged a credit union at the Reisterstown Road site at a time when many members of the congregation needed broader access to financial services.
Today, MLFCU has more than 85 members. The credit union wanted to forge a merger with SecurityPlus FCU because its members today are still in need of broad financial services, according to Mount Lebanon members who are familiar with the congregation.
“It meant quite a bit to us because we wanted to continue providing services to the members, but at this point, we were at the end because of our limited services,” said Deloris Mack, former board president of MLFCU.
“When Securityplus offered to merge with us, we were all overjoyed, we were glad.”
With the merger, MLFCU’s members will now have access to checking accounts, ATM services, online banking and debit and credit cards.
They will also have access to SecurityPlus FCU’s financial education program, which provides money management guidance, credit report reviews, debt management plans and counseling for student loans.
“Being able to supply services to the community, such as financial education, is going to be major,” said Mack.
Megan Sayles is a Report for America Corps member.
This article originally appeared in The Afro.