Tell us YOUR story
Meet Lovie, a member since 2001 …
When Lovie, a 6th-grade teacher with Columbus City Schools, wanted to do something special for her students this Christmas, she knew she could turn to her credit union for help.
“It was kind of a strange request,” she laughs. “I thought it would be fun to give my students $2 bills because I figured many kids have never seen a $2 bill before.”
Education First’s Reynoldsburg branch provided Lovie with all the $2 bills she needed and more.
“My students were very appreciative,” says Lovie. “Some said, ‘Oh, I’m saving my $2 bill!’ They were just so excited. I love that the Credit Union was able to help me make that happen. It’s the little things, especially during the pandemic, that make the most of the teaching experience and lets the kids know that we really care about them.”
Lovie joined Education First in 2001 when she was a first-year teacher with Columbus City Schools.
“And it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” she says.
Lovie’s mentor, Mrs. Collins, an experienced teacher, advised her to join the Credit Union because Education First was more likely to understand a young teacher’s needs than a larger bank.
“I was coming directly from college. I had gone from my undergraduate degree at Winston-Salem State University straight into getting my master’s at OSU, so as you can imagine, I had some student loans!”
Lovie has since used Education First’s unique Classroom Supply Loan; a zero percent interest loan specifically designed to help teachers stock their classrooms.
“I like that it is a zero percent loan because many teachers are paying for school supplies out of pocket,” says Lovie, adding that now that some teachers are returning to the classroom, additional cleaning supplies may be added to their list due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When it comes to paying back loans, Lovie says she appreciates that Education First has the option of setting up bi-monthly payments, making paying back loans more manageable.
“Some banks will only give you the option of paying once a month, but a bi-weekly option that corresponds with my pay schedule is the easiest for me. I found that the Credit Union is very accommodating with my Columbus City Schools pay schedule in general.
Over the years, Lovie says she has consistently found that Education First helps her make sound financial decisions. She notes that it’s the personal relationships and longevity that count when contemplating making large purchases like a home or new vehicle rather than securing hefty loans that may not be in the member’s best interest.
“The Credit Union staff members I’ve worked with seem to really care about me as a person. It doesn’t seem like they are trying to get loans approved no matter what. Instead, they look at your financial portfolio to make sure that you aren’t taking out more than you actually need. I feel like I am more of a personal investment to them, not just a number.”
She recently went to a different Education First branch than she usually uses and worked with Jason, an Education First relationship officer, for the first time.
“Jason took the time to help me make a sound financial decision – and he put me in touch with a financial advisor who could look into some other long terms investments. I definitely felt like I left with more knowledge than I had come in with. It was a great experience.”
Today, Lovie’s daughter, a college student, is now also a member of Education First.
“She is doing a great job saving already,” says Lovie. “She’s off to a great start with the Credit Union.”