CoVantage Returns a Record $4.2 Million in Patronage to Members
FOR THE ANTIGO TIMES
A record of over $4.2 million in patronage has been deposited into the accounts of members who borrowed and saved with CoVantage Credit Union. This is the largest patronage payment in the history of CoVantage Credit Union. In the last five years, $17 million has been returned to members specifically through patronage.
Patronage is a concept of giving back that originated among cooperatives many years ago. CoVantage is one of a few credit unions in the country that continue the practice, and this marks the 40th year in a row the CoVantage member-owners have received this unique financial benefit. According to CoVantage Board Chairman, Willis Qualheim, “When the board met at the end of the year, we determined how much income was needed to fund regular dividends and operating expenses, and to maintain in reserves to ensure CoVantage remains financially strong. Because of our financial fortitude and more members placing their trust in CoVantage for their loans, deposits, and other services, despite it being an unprecedented year, we had a successful 2020. We are thrilled to be able to provide over $4.2 million – our largest patronage payment ever to the membership. Thank you to everyone who made this possible by making timely payments on loans and relying on us for many of your financial needs…without members CoVantage would not exist.”
The year-end patronage payment includes a bonus on dividends earned for those who save, and a loan interest rebate for those who borrow. CoVantage depositors received a 5% bonus on dividends earned on eligible savings, term share certificates and variable rate accounts. Borrowers received a rebate of 5% of their total 2020 interest paid on qualifying vehicle, home equity, in-house mortgage, credit card, and commercial loans. For instance, if $5,000 of interest had been paid on a home loan, the borrower would receive $250 in patronage for just that loan. In addition to patronage, CoVantage also provided nearly $100,000 to members through the CoVantage match for those enrolled in Change it Up, a debit card savings program. CoVantage members used their debit card more than ever, and collectively saved over $2 million through Change it Up.
CoVantage President Charlie Zanayed, added, “Part of our mission is to provide outstanding everyday value, and I am humbled to share that in September 2020 CoVantage was ranked 2nd out of 5,200 credit unions nationally for providing great rates and low fees (as reported by Callahan, an independent credit union research company). This was the 14th year in a row CoVantage was honored to be in the top 1% of credit unions for outstanding member value. We are thankful for our members for allowing us to serve them and for the support they have provided us throughout this unusual year.”
Further information about the CoVantage patronage program can be found at www.covantagecu.org/patronage.
CoVantage Credit Union, with headquarters in Antigo, Wisconsin, has $2.3 billion in assets and serves over 125,000 members across all of their locations. Founded in 1953, the financial cooperative serves members living or working in 22 counties in Wisconsin and three counties in the U.P. of Michigan.