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Financial and Lifestyle Resources for Vermont

VSECU Blog

In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.

By: Courtney Guyette

February 25th, 2021

People and Movements in Black History that Improved Financial Access

Alternative Banking | Cooperatives | Learn Something New

Navigating our financial system can be difficult, but it has been that much harder for the Black community after the abolishment of slavery. Jim Crow laws made it nearly impossible to get a loan or even open a bank account. African Americans would need a white man to vouch for them to even be considered for a loan. When we step back and examine our financial system, do we truly understand how far we have come in making it more accessible? Do we know how it difficult was for those individuals who helped pave the way?

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By: Simeon Chapin

November 23rd, 2020

Q&A with Socially Responsible Businesses Changing Vermont's Future

Alternative Banking | Cooperatives

“Where money goes, so goes the future.” More and more, people are realizing that what they choose to do with their hard-earned money, and how it is managed by their bank, credit union, or investment broker, makes a difference in their communities and the world around them. There is a choice to be part of an economy that supports you, and help create a more resilient and prosperous community around you. So today, in the midst of a global pandemic, we are celebrating Banking on Values Day by talking to four of our many VSECU members who choose this way of banking and exchange every day. Their businesses are built to create benefit for their community, preserve and care for the environment where they live and work, and provide profit to support their livelihood.

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By: Simeon Chapin

October 15th, 2020

How Credit Unions Inspire Hope and Build Community on ICU Day

Alternative Banking | Cooperatives

“This is the moment credit unions were invented for. Or at least should have been...” This message from author, speaker, and former VSECU consultant Douglas Rushkoff hit my inbox in July earlier this year. VSECU had benefited from Douglas’s insights before and MIT named him one of the world’s top ten influential thinkers, among other accolades, so his words had weight. He was simultaneously praising of the foundations of mutual aid and shared values that credit unions are built upon and issuing a challenge for credit unions to rise to the many difficulties we are facing in 2020. So, on International Credit Union Day, a day when we celebrate the contributions of credit unions, we ask, “What is it about credit unions that makes them meaningful in this moment?” and “What are credit unions doing to meet the challenges of today?

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By: Heidi White

June 15th, 2020

The Benefits of a Bank Account

Alternative Banking | Saving and Budgeting

If you don’t have a credit union or bank account, you aren’t alone. According to the most recent FDIC survey, “an estimated 6.5% of U.S. households (8.4 million households) were ‘unbanked’ in 2017” and “an additional 18.7% of U.S. households (24.2 million) were ‘underbanked.’ In 2015, an estimated 1.5% of Vermonters (out of a population of 626,299, that’s 9,394 people) were unbanked. 11.6% were underbanked. This is a fairly low rate in comparison to other states, but it’s still a lot of people who live without any or adequate banking services.

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6 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

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By: Nick Bohlen

May 5th, 2020

How to Save Your Small Businesses from Coronavirus

Alternative Banking | Business Development | Investing in the Future

Loans and Grants for Now and Later Whether it’s starting curbside pickup at restaurants, pivoting manufacturing facilities to produce masks and other necessities for frontline workers, creating online ordering systems, or developing remote work infrastructures on the fly, one silver lining the pandemic has shown us is the innovative power of small business owners and entrepreneurs.   But the reality is that the small business sector is still in need of help—specifically financial help. If you are a business owner, here are the two major categories of finance that you can turn to, both during the COVID-19 crisis and after.

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By: Heidi White

January 23rd, 2020

How Does Shared Branching Work?

Alternative Banking | Cooperatives

Credit unions tend to serve local populations, so finding a branch while you’re traveling afar can be a trick. The CO-OP Shared Branching Network has solved this problem by allowing credit unions across the country to band together and offer services to members of all networked credit unions.

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By: Simeon Chapin

October 16th, 2019

Why Join a Credit Union? A Personal Perspective

Alternative Banking | Cooperatives

As a member and an employee of my local credit union, the question “Why Join a Credit Union” is one I’ve given a lot of thought to.

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By: Heidi White

October 9th, 2018

What Credit Unions Are and Why People Love Them

Alternative Banking | Cooperatives | Learn Something New

So here's a fun fact, which also happens to be the reason I’m writing this blog: International Credit Union (ICU) Day comes every year on the third Thursday of October (October 18 in 2018). It’s a big day for credit unions and this year (2018), the theme is “Find Your Platinum Lining.” If you’re wondering why they're messing with your silver lining, they have a good reason. This is the platinum (70th) anniversary of ICU day, which started in 1948 and has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since then.

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