The Coalition’s vision is to found the first nationwide LGBTQ Federal Credit Union (FCU) by 2023 offering fair & equal access to financial services, planning, and products specialized for the unique financial needs and concerns of LGBTQ consumers & communities.
Because their mission is to cultivate financial wellness for their members now and into the future, credit unions offer a wide array of benefits to the members they serve.
All the Services You Expect, Delivered Better.
Credit unions offer all the in-person and online checking features customers expect from a 21st-century depository institution. But because the credit union and its staff are dedicated to serve the needs of its member community, CUs offer more comfortable, familiar, & friendlier service, and their staff employ their community knowledge to develop and offer more targeted services which can meet the unique needs of their members, whereas traditional banks develop their products to sell to the mainstream mass-market.
Mission-Driven, Not Profit-Driven.
Because a credit union is not-for-profit, it has no shareholders or debts owed to outside investors, so it has no incentive to charge higher-rates in order to pay dividends or lavish bonuses. As a result of a focus on providing the best service to members, without any profit-mongering, credit unions can offer lower interest rates than traditional thrifts and savings & loans. Instead of offering products which drown customers in fees and interest, credit unions offer more affordable products to help members get their finances and debts under control
Transforming Savings into Investment.
Credit unions, like traditional commercial banks and thrifts, transform their members’ short-term deposits into longer-term loans to individual & business customers. Since lending from credit unions is a key means for businesses to start-up and to expand, credit unions are using member savings to make community investments. When that loan is paid back they use that revenue to pay back their depositors in savings and checking account interest, and to make new loans to new borrowers–which can support a virtuous cycle of savings and investment.
Truly Innovative Products & Services.
Traditional financial services firms and leaders love to promise financial “innovations,” but instead offer business-as-usual: the sub-prime products and services they offer to the poorest charge high interest and fees, actually inhibiting borrowers from creating savings or equity to achieve financial goals. Because a credit union’s focus is on high-quality (not high-interest) services for members, credit unions can offer truly innovative products and services whichuse financial instruments and planning to get customers out of financial distress, instead of creating even more obstacles to success.
Federal credit unions offer many of the common financial services which are expected by consumers from a 21st century financial institution, and even a few more they do not expect.
Adoption & Fertility Loans or Grants
Low-or-no interest loans or grants to cover family planning costs (e.g. adoption, fertility, IVF, surrogacy services) which LGBTQ people disproportionately shoulder.
Gender Affirming Loans or Grants
Low-or-no interest loans or grants for gender-affirming treatments and services (e.g. hormone therapies, transition surgeries, vocal therapy) which insurers do not cover.
Access to LGBTQ-specific Financial Planning
To help LGBTQ families of all kinds and shapes make successful plans for retirement & secure financial futures, absent estranged family & inclusive of our chosen family.
Rewards for Keeping it in the Family
Credit card points can reward members for using their credit or debit cards to patronize LGBTQ businesses–encouraging members to keep money “in the family.”
Jobs for LGBTQ-serving Professionals
An FCU can create good-paying jobs for financial and customer-service professionals with knowledge and/or experience dealing with LGBTQ finances and individuals.
Increased Access for Sex & Gender Services
Traditional lenders frequently balk at serving businesses which may pose “non-traditional” risk. Sex and gender affirming services can promote access for these groups and individuals who have restricted, or no, access at present.
The Coalition anticipates it will require 3-5 years to ensure we have a robust and representative engagement of the LGBTQ community, including individuals, businesses, and community groups, and sufficient time to organize a sustainable LGBTQ FCU.
- Engaging individuals, businesses, and nonprofits in the process of creating an LGBTQ FCU to ensure organizing is informed fully by community needs and driven forward with community leaders.
- Building ~$750K-1M in financial capacity to support its organizing for 3-5 years.
- Engaging the range of Coalition partner(s) interested in offering financial services to their members, to be included in the initial NCUA proposal as the FCU’s field-of-membership.
- Developing robust data-analysis methods to produce research about LGBTQ financial gaps, education about LGBTQ financial issues, and field-test the systems prior to Phase II market survey.
- Identification and subsequent NCUA approval of seven founding members (“subscribers”).
- Production of an online and paper survey to deliver proposed membership to assess their current financial profiles and needs.
- The production of a final business proposal based on the findings of the membership survey and outcomes of donor support engagement, including:
- Financial projections for operations & equity for the PFCU
- The FCU’s Marketing plan,
- FCU Bylaws
- requisite compliance policies.
- The identification of an independent Board of Directors for the credit union’s operations, satisfactory to the subscribers and to the NCUA.
Based on the final charter proposal, the NCUA:
- Issues a charter approval – or –
- Provides comments which may require additional response on the part of Coalition organizers and PFCU subscribers prior to approval.
Subsequent to charter approval, the LGBTQ FCU may commence operations and begin offering its services to the community.
Organizing an LGBTQ FCU will have two primary costs:
Want to Make the Switch to an LGBTQ FCU?
Unfortunately, there is no LGBTQ Federal Credit Union yet, and so you can’t deposit with or get a loan from the LGBTQ FCU yet–which is why the Coalition is organizing to create one.
If you like the sound of fairer financial services and want to make the switch to an FCU that can offer equal access and opportunity to LGBTQ individuals, businesses, and community groups you can join us on the road to making this dream a reality.
The most important way you can show support is by joining our Coalition by signing our open letter and petition for an LGBTQ FCU.
After joining the Coalition you can support the creation of fair & equal financial services by helping fund our community organizing and education to create the LGBTQ FCU. Even $5-10 helps. Your contribution will be pooled with other donations from supporters around the country to make our dream of an LGBTQ credit union a reality.