Non-citizen lending? Not a problem (Part 1)

Living out the CU mission of 'people helping people'

One trailblazing credit union is leading the pack in offering financial services to a demographic that is increasingly scrutinized and often underserved: non-citizens.

“Where you were born should not determine how you live,” reads the personal loans section of the website of Point West Credit Union, Portland, Ore. “We offer lending and services to immigrants and all members of the Hispanic community. Walking in our doors makes you a citizen of Point West.”

The CU has a diverse membership and a strategic focus on serving the Hispanic members it gained through a 2004 merger with Hacienda Community Credit Union. Point West CU pulled back on Hacienda Community CU’s original non-citizen lending program in the wake of the Great Recession of 2008, but relaunched its efforts in 2014.

“Serving our community—our whole community—is not a partisan or political decision,” says Steve Pagenstecher, VP/member experience at $103 million Point West CU. “It’s a reflection of our values and our commitment to the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people.’”


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