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September 2010Vol 1, Issue 5
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We can make a difference
Message From Executive Director
One of the best parts about working for MCUCD is being able to meet and work with so many great people. Take Bertie for example, our VITA volunteer from Fairfield highlighted in this issue. She's been volunteering for VITA for as long as MCUCD has been sponsoring VITA, since 2006.  What talent she has - ranging from tax preparation to clogging. I can personally attest to both, having seen one of her clogging performances!
Credit union people are wonderful to work with as well. Ask any credit union employee why they work at the credit union, and most likely you'll hear them say they enjoy helping people. That makes sense, since credit unions as not-for-profit financial cooperatives exist to serve its members (those who have accounts at the credit union). 
It's that kind of service we hope will help Montanans avoid using high cost payday loan products. In this issue you'll read about our Credit Union Small Loan Public Awareness Campaign, and how you can help get the word out about the availability of small loans at credit unions across Montana. 
To learn more about MCUCD and our programs, please visit our website at Or, contact me or another member of the MCUCD team. We'd love to hear from you! 
In This Issue
Small Loan Campaign
Making a Difference
September Consumer Topic
Quick Links  
Join our Mailing List!
Find us on Facebook
Credit Union Small Loan Awareness Campaign
Small Loan for a Rainy Day
This fall, Montana Credit Unions for Community Development takes to the airwaves to promote credit union small loans. Our Public Service Announcement will run state-wide in September and October on both television and radio, raising awareness of the availability of small loans at credit unions. A grant from the National Credit Union Foundation funded the production costs of the PSA video and two months airtime through the nonprofit messaging service of the Montana Broadcasters Association.
The publicity campaign is part of MCUCD's efforts to combat predatory lending through credit union alternatives.  
As all credit unions offer small, short-term loans on a case-by-case basis, this publicity campaign aims to elevate awareness of that fact. Too many Montanans end up paying too much for small, short-term loans because they don't know that their local credit union offers an alternative. While credit unions do not make a profit on small loans, due to the nature of the loan and the staff time required for processing, they offer them because of their dedication to improving the financial well-being of their members. Credit unions look to develop a long-term relationship with small loan recipients, seeking to become their primary financial institution and meeting their more traditional financial demands in the future.  
In addition to the PSA running on television and radio, MCUCD is sharing outreach materials with local community organizations so that they can help get the word out. Numerous organizations have already signed on to partner with MCUCD in the effort to promote credit union small loans. Their help promises to make this an extremely successful campaign.
Credit UnionBe on the lookout for the Public Service Announcement playing on television and radio in September and October. To get a sneak peek of the video, plus more information on the campaign and how you can get involved, visit   
Making A Difference
BertieWhile some retirees use their free time to lounge on the beach or play cards with friends, Bertie Turville has selflessly dedicated her time to helping low to moderate income individuals by completing their taxes. She has spent the last five years assisting taxpayers with MCUCD's VITA program at Russell Country FCU-Fairfield, and this is in addition to golfing, knitting, ballroom dancing, singing in her church choir, and traveling with her clogging group! 
Bertie was told that volunteer tax preparers were needed by a woman who worked at the Senior Center. This was in 2006, and she has been volunteering ever since. She genuinely enjoys the experience and feels it is a "great pleasure to work with people and they're so appreciative!" Although Bertie finds it challenging to re-test with the IRS every year and keep updated with new tax changes, she does not find it hard to remain motivated because "volunteering is very rewarding." She recalls one woman who found it amazing that Bertie was able to complete her taxes and understand complicated tax formulas. To Bertie, taxes are fun and she equates tax preparation to "fitting together a jigsaw puzzle."
When asked what she wished people knew about the VITA program, Bertie replied that she wanted people to "realize that there is help available" and that there are other programs, through organizations like MCUCD and Consumer Credit Counseling, that can help people with financial issues. Bertie also wanted to acknowledge the dedication of Russell Country's staff to the VITA program. She enjoys working with Rachel and Karen at Russell Country FCU and notes that they are "very professional." It is clear that the feelings are mutual. When asked about working with Bertie, Rachel remarked, "Bertie is vital to our program in Fairfield. Most of the people that she helps come back to her every year and she's always here and ready with a smile."
Consumer Topic of the Month
CRC GraphicToo Much Month, Not Enough Money?
Sometimes, despite our best efforts at budgeting and planning, there's simply more month than money.  When that happens, we need a little help to meet our monthly expenses.  Throughout September, Montana Credit Unions for Community Development will be explaining the options available to consumers who have fallen behind on their bills, or need to meet emergency expenses.  Visit the Consumer Topic of the Month section of the MCUCD website and our facebook page to learn about creating an emergency savings fund, credit union small loans, credit repair and more.
Visit the Consumer Topic of the Month on the MCUCD website to find more information to help manage household finances.