Have you ever found an unexplainable charge on your checking account statement? How about that time you miscalculated your balance and that $2 cup of coffee ended up costing you most of your rent payment in overdraft and negative balance fees? Well, there may soon be a new way to bank for West Side residents.
A group of people from several Buffalo non profits is planning to open a low income designated credit union on Grant Street by the summer of 2015. The organizers, led by financial educator Emma Smalley, want to give West Side residents an alternative to the traditional banking options in the neighborhood. For those who don’t know, a credit union is a financial institution, much like a bank, but designed to keep its member’s money with its members rather than shareholders.
Thanks to the opening of Sweet_ness 7, the West Side Bazaar and several other new shops in the past few years, business is relatively booming on Grant these days. Many of the area’s new businesses are owned by immigrants and refugees who often cannot obtain bank loans without paying prohibitive interest rates. The credit union’s focus will be to get home, car and business loans to these types of consumers at more affordable rates.
Emma’s organizing group is holding a fundraiser for the credit union this Thursday, 7pm to 10pm at Grant Street’s newest business, The Gypsy Parlor. Tickets are $20. You can buy them here.
Good Neighbors Federal Credit Union – See Facebook