Reality vs. Rhetoric Theme: Jeff Olson's Political Update
by Jeff Olson, VP of Advocacy and Awareness
As the CUAD Legislative Chapter meetings wind down and the political campaigns kick into high gear, the CUAD Advocacy team has been trekking across the Dakotas in an effort to continue educating legislators and candidates on the Credit unions structure.
In chapters meeting held in Minot, Bismarck, Jamestown, Devils Lake and Grand Forks, the CUAD Advocacy Team has successfully reached out to nearly 60 percent of the current legislators and candidates running for the North Dakota Legislature. The Missouri Valley Chapter event in mid September hosted 21 legislators at their event in Bismarck. With three events left, CUAD has connected with 69 of a potential 114 candidates during this election cycle. Even more impressive is that many of these candidates and legislators are coming to hear the credit union story during the heart of the campaign season, when they generally prefer to visit with constituents or go door-to-door.
Many lawmakers don’t fully understand the credit union structure. So, education is the key and using the Credit Union Chapter meetings as their venue, the CUAD advocacy team has been successfully educating North Dakota legislators and candidates on the credit union difference and how they serve their respective communities. The message is that credit unions are member owned; not-for-profit financial cooperatives that return their earnings back to their members in the form of lower rates and fees; Volunteer board, one-member one vote; they are local, community minded, and operate under the people they serve.
The message delivered to legislators is based on Reality vs. Rhetoric (CUs and Banks)
• Credit union savings and loan rates outperform bank rates across the board.
• Credit union rates on new and used car loans are 26 percent lower than bank rates, on average.
• Credit card rates are 9 percent lower and unsecured loan rates are 14 percent lower at credit unions.
• Credit union home equity loans are 6 percent lower and first mortgages are 2 percent lower.
• Interest rates on savings, money market, interest checking, and CDs are 25 percent higher at credit unions, on average.
• These savings result in more money in the hands of average North Dakotans.