Lutheran Federal Credit Union … for LCMS to call its own

Commentary: Lutheran Federal Credit Union … for LCMS to call its own

By Tom Buuck

The reality of a nationwide credit union to serve the entire Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod community is upon us.

Lutheran Federal Credit Union has opened its doors to serve the LCMS in all 50 states. With the credit union, LCMS members across the country can now open savings and checking accounts, get consumer loans, obtain credit cards and utilize household financial tools.

Staff leaders of the new Lutheran Federal Credit Union are, from left, Operations Manager Amanda Middleton, Vice-President of Lending Jennifer Rutherford, President and CEO Tom Buuck and Vice-President of Finance Dennis Hagemann. (Lutheran Federal Credit Union)

Staff leaders of the new Lutheran Federal Credit Union are, from left, Operations Manager Amanda Middleton, Vice-President of Lending Jennifer Rutherford, President and CEO Tom Buuck and Vice-President of Finance Dennis Hagemann. (Lutheran Federal Credit Union)

A tremendous amount of effort by Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) over the years culminated in an extensive effort of feasibility studies and regulatory approvals during the past three years.

Thanks goes to LCEF President and CEO Richard Robertson, the past and present boards of LCEF, and the LCMS Board of Directors and executive staff for their vision and dedication to create the Lutheran Federal Credit Union, including an infusion of start-up capital from LCEF.

Lutheran Federal Credit Union is now open to a variety of people within the LCMS community — including the 2.1 million members of our 6,100 congregations, along with employees, retirees and volunteers of our LCMS congregations, districts and all Synod entities.

For those who have grown weary of high fees and impersonal service at their banks, Lutheran Federal Credit Union represents an enormous opportunity for you to become more fiscally fit, while having a relationship with an institution that reflects your shared values.

We are blessed to be able to offer a deep breadth of low-cost and no-fee products and services to the LCMS community in all 50 states. Our technology is the latest and greatest, incorporating biometric security, on-demand full-suite mobile banking and access to cash when and where you need it. Not only does Lutheran Federal Credit Union offer a comprehensive portfolio of services, but they are available in an atmosphere that celebrates the fundamental beliefs of the LCMS. We believe it will create a sense of belonging among all of our members and complement the ministry of LCEF.

A wealth of services

The Credit Union will allow members to choose between four different checking accounts — all with free online banking, a debit card that works fee-free at more than 30,000 ATMs, free mobile banking and free online bill pay. All of these accounts allow for direct deposit of paychecks or Social Security checks. Credit Union members also can take advantage of three different savings accounts that pay competitive interest rates.

In financial transactions, peace of mind is paramount, and it comes from knowing that all checking and savings accounts are federally insured for up to $250,000. Members also can obtain auto, personal and home loans, wherever they live in the United States — all within the offerings of Lutheran Federal Credit Union.

Need a credit card? Lutheran Federal Credit Union is the place to get it. Three cards are available, all with no annual fees and low annual percentage rates. There’s even a “Genesis” card, ideal for younger first-time users who need to establish credit. Other services include checking and savings accounts for congregations, along with the “Ministry Classic” credit card specifically for the congregation’s business use.

Innovation enhances protection

But make no mistake. This is not your grandfather’s credit union. Lutheran Federal Credit Union makes use of the latest technology, including an innovative product called “CardNav” that gives members control of their debit and credit cards through an app on their phones.

CardNav is empowering. It lets members take charge of their cards in real time. You can turn it on or off, decide where it can be used, or set limits on spending. It’s pretty amazing technology. The app is free for members.

Members of Lutheran Federal Credit Union also can use their smartphones for online banking. This includes transferring funds, paying bills and loans, sending money to family and friends, viewing check images and much more. With the mobile app, a member can even use “remote deposit capture,” simply by taking a photo of a check which then automatically gets deposited into their account. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

For those who prefer face-to-face transactions, the credit union belongs to the Shared Branch Network, giving members access to 5,000 branch locations across the country.

Become a member today

So if you’re tired of being treated like a number at your bank, or you feel it’s time you had a financial partner who shares your values, Lutheran Federal Credit Union is now open for your use. More information, including membership requirements and a complete list of financial services, may be found at lutheranfcu.org.

This is a credit union for today’s times.

Tom Buuck (tom.b@lutheranfcu.org) is president and CEO of Lutheran Federal Credit Union.

Posted Dec. 11, 2015 / Updated Dec. 17, 2015

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