Meet Ted, a member since 1987…
In 1987, as a young teacher for Columbus City Schools, Ted found his “dream home” near the Scioto River in Powell, Ohio. “This house was close enough to the Columbus Zoo to hear the lions roar,” jokes Ted.
It was before the big housing boom in Powell. Listed at $36,000, Ted had discovered a hidden gem. He was excited and optimistically headed to Huntington Bank for help financing his dream.
“I had good credit,” says Ted. “I was excited. I had to have this property. I only needed a mortgage for $27,000. I had no debt outside of a small student loan I was paying off and a car loan. My salary at the time as an English teacher at Mifflin High School was $17,000. So, I thought, this is perfect.”
But, Ted’s experience at Huntington would not be what he expected.
“The man laughed at me,” says Ted. “I was horrified. I sat in this man’s office at Huntington while he literally laughed out loud to my face.”
Ted decided to give Chase a try.
“So, I head to Bank One [now Chase],” says Ted. “And again, am laughed at! This time it’s more of a smirk and a snicker but the principle remains the same. I was astonished. Finally, Chase agrees to a loan but only with tons of stipulations. This man brings out an incredible amount of paper work for me to sign, tons of hoops to jump through to be able to get this loan. That’s when I decided to give the Credit Union a try.”
Ted had received information about Education First in his new teacher packet when he had started his job at Mifflin the previous year but had not immediately joined the Credit Union.
“I wanted this house badly, “says Ted “and I didn’t have a whole lot of time. So, I decided ok, let me try this teacher’s Credit Union I’ve heard about and see what they can do.”
Ted walked in and to his surprise the loan process with Education First couldn’t have been easier. “Sure, no problem,” said the Credit Union’s mortgage specialist Dane Smith, and he immediately put together the loan for Ted.
“I got the house!” says Ted, “and then that was it. I was sold on [Education First] from then on. I became an advocate for the Credit Union and a liaison for my school.”
An Education First liaison is someone who acts as an intermediary between the Credit Union and a school. Notifying the rest of the school’s faculty and staff on credit union information such as grants being offered, specials deals and current rates.
Ted went on to repair and build on to his house with home improvement loans from Education First and a decade later, purchase a lake-front cabin vacation home with a quick signature loan from the Credit Union.
“I couldn’t have gotten either house without the help of the Credit Union,” says Ted.
Years after buying his first home, Ted had children and opened ABC youth accounts for each of them at Education First. Today both children are young adults with excellent credit which Ted partly attributes to the Credit Union.
“I’m thankful for Dan [an Education First employee] for taking the time, when my kids were young to really explain how credit works to them.”
As teens, Ted’s kids had credit builder loans with Education First which helped to establish their credit.
Education First’s Credit Builder Loans are designed to make it easy for our members to improve or establish a credit history. The Credit Builder Loan offers no annual fee, no application fee and a low interest rate. It’s like a loan with training wheels, simple to get and easy to pay back.
Briefly, when Ted’s son was 5 years old, Ted opened a bank account for him at another bank.
“We had $200 or so in Christmas money that we deposited,” says Ted. “We forgot the account for about a year or so. When we returned to withdraw the money, the account had been so heavily fee’ d that the balance was now $0.”
“My son never forgot that,” says Ted. At 6 years old, the little boy declared “I will never trust a bank with my money again!”
Ted’s children are still members of Education First.
“I really believe in the Credit Union,” says Ted. “This is a credit union for teachers and school workers. The money you deposit helps those in this community, it’s a great thing and most importantly, it works. We’re all better off for being members.”