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Select FCU Opens Branch at Ella Austin Community Center
Thursday, June 5, 2014 6:50 AM

Select FCU, one of San Antonio’s oldest federal credit unions has taken up residence at the Ella Austin Community Center. The Center’s Executive Director Anthony Hargrove told La Prensa that the work to set up the credit union was a yearlong effort, and now that it’s here it’ll fill a void. The credit union will now serve the youth and seniors of the area.

“It allows those individuals to learn financial responsibility, open savings accounts and learn about financial literacy,” Hargrove told La Prensa readers. “There’s no financial institution here that I know of on the Eastside.”

Select FCU President and CEO Belinda Barrera McDaniel emphasizes that the branch was opened to all and not limited to Ella Austin Community Center members.

“This is the best way to reach this community, so it’s open to those who work here, who live in the neighborhood, and who go to school in the neighborhood, and who go to church in the neighborhood, it’s for all those folks,” she explains.

McDaniel explained to La Prensa readers that credit unions are different from other financial institutions. Credit unions, she explained, are run by volunteers. Another difference, she told readers, are fees.

“So many of our services are free of charge, if not minimal charge, because we want to reach out to those folks to better save them money and show them how to do proper banking,” Barrera McDaniel said. “Credit unions are different. We do a lot of things different.”

By opening a branch, McDaniel says the credit union is so close to the community that they can walk there and do their business. She describes it as an extension of their services from opening accounts, deposits, working with the seniors to loaning money. At the same time, they’ll be able to use direct deposit for their Social Security checks.

McDaniel says by placing a branch in this area, they are helping to combat payday lenders.

“We’ve come up with a new program that is a means to try and get these people away from these high priced loan products; it’s an alternative to payday loans,” she notes.

The credit union will also offer financial literacy classes.