At Addition Financial™ the “Plus” Is Education
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One of the nation’s most successful credit unions, Addition Financial goes beyond its legal requirement to operate as a not-for-profit cooperative working exclusively in the best interests of its members. The 83-year-old institution is also helping reshape Central Florida’s future by championing financial education.
Addition Financial’s emphasis on education reflects the credit union’s beginnings. It was established in 1937 by teachers in Orange County, Florida. Over the years it expanded its charter, allowing anyone who lives or works in 22 counties to take advantage of credit union membership.
“Learning to manage money empowers individuals, families and businesses,” explains Addition Financial President and CEO Kevin Miller. “Whether we’re leading a workshop for young people who will be earning their first paycheck, educating families throughout their financial lifetimes, or helping a start-up or struggling business to restructure debt and manage cash flow, we serve as our members’ financial partner and personal success coach.”
Education is a 24/7 effort with Addition Financial. Staff members teach financial literacy to school children, kindergarten through college. They also publish blogs, podcasts and YouTube videos that anyone can access.
Addition Financial has a major commitment to high schools and higher education. It operates full-service branches in ten area high schools, where students and teachers can access almost all services. These branches are staffed by tightly screened and well-trained students. The students complete a full curriculum on financial basics and are equipped to teach their peers. Student internships at Addition Financial branches are also available. The students can serve adult members without seeing their financial and personal information in the system.
A Better Alternative to Traditional Banking
One of the largest credit unions in Central Florida with about 160,000 members, Addition Financial has grown its assets to more than $2 billion through fiscally conservative management. Significantly exceeding national standards for capitalization, Addition Financial consistently earns a Five-star rating, Bauer Financial’s highest possible recommendation based on safety and soundness.
As owners, members have access to a full range of services they would expect from traditional banks – home mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, business loans and more. But they pay lower fees and benefit from much better rates than for-profit banks can offer. Even the credit card rewards programs, which offer up to five times points on special categories each quarter, are as good as or better than the competition.
Recently, Addition Financial opted to partner with Presto! to offer surcharge-free ATMs. “We sacrificed revenues in order to provide more convenience and lower costs to members,” says Miller.
At Addition Financial, Service is Personal
“What truly makes Addition Financial the primary financial institution for so many of our members, is the close personal relationships they have with the experienced, extensively trained staff at their branch,” explains Miller. “While other institutions are abandoning brick and mortar and substituting face-to-face contacts with “screen time,” we are doubling down on opportunities for personal interaction. In addition to leading edge online and digital experiences, we are expanding our network of modern, welcoming branches throughout Central Florida, most recently into Brevard County.”
Because Addition Financial makes personal relationships a priority, loan officers can base loan decisions in part on what they know about the member. Decisions are made locally, eliminating unnecessary delays, and the employees have a reputation for finding creative solutions to difficult challenges.
“We make a promise to our members and our community,” concludes Miller.“Every challenge, every dream, every day, count us in.”
This content was provided by Financial Service Directory. Kiplinger is not affiliated with and does not endorse the company or products mentioned above.