Bradley Initiative Credit Union (BICU) opened in January 2003 in response to economic issues identified through the BICC Listening Process conducted in the community. Many community-minded individuals and businesses diligently worked over a 2 year period to bring together the tremendous resources needed to launch the Credit Union. This group included community and civic leaders, elected officials, business men and women, pastors, individuals and families from many walks of life and socioeconomic status, foundations, banks and other credit unions.
BICU has a special designation as a community development credit union. The following is a brief description of community development credit unions pulled from the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions website (see link below).
A community development credit union (CDCU) is a credit union with a special mission of serving low- and moderate-income people and communities.
More than sixty years ago, a small number of credit unions were founded with the specific mission of serving low-income and minority communities beyond the reach of banks and mainstream credit unions. These “community development credit unions” (CDCUs) specialize in serving populations generally considered the hardest to serve, including low-income wage earners, recent immigrants, and people with disabilities.
• Nonprofit and tax-exempt (but not a charity)
• Cooperatively owned and governed -- one member, one vote
• Government-regulated, fully insured financial institutions
• Fairly priced loans, including to members with imperfect, limited or no credit history
• A safe place to save
• A place to conduct transactions at reasonable cost
• Financial education and counseling for its members
• Products, services and support that can help members to free themselves from high-cost and predatory debt, gain control over their personal finances, and achieve economic independence.
CDCUs offer an economic lifeline to low-income communities that have been abandoned by commercial banks and targeted by high-priced check cashers and predatory lenders. CDCUs also provide a platform to serve the broader community through outreach to disadvantaged populations and neighborhoods, participation in government programs, and partnerships with the private-sector in community revitalization efforts.
Every CDCU was founded in the belief that those who work hard deserve the opportunity to achieve financial security. Each CDCU can tell a story of beating the odds, helping the vulnerable, and pursuing a mission that is as large as the American Dream and as specific as the future of a single child.
For more information about community development credit unions follow this link: http://www.nafcu.org
2013 BICU Credit Union Board of Directors:
Dr. Ed McIntire, chairman
Brian Turner, treasurer
Brenda Hughes, secretary
BICU is located at 1075 Blythe Avenue SE, Cleveland, Tennessee 37311. For more information about Bradley Initiative Credit Union call 423.559.1181, visit www.thebicu.com or email MemberServices@TheBICU.com