CoVantage Returns a Record $5 Million in Patronage to Members
FOR THE ANTIGO TIMES
A record of over $5 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, and an $800,000 increase over what was provided to borrowers and savers the year before.
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 41st consecutive year CoVantage member-owners have received this unique financial benefit. According to CoVantage Board Chair Susan Gitzlaff, “I am so proud to be part of a credit union that truly lives their mission like we do at CoVantage. As the credit union grows and more members come to us with their savings, checking and other deposits, we loan those dollars out, so other members can buy a home, purchase a car, or in some cases, start a business. When the board and I meet at year-end, we evaluate how much income is needed in reserves to protect the credit union, and to fund regular dividends and operating expenses. Because we had such tremendous growth in loans, deposits, and new members, we were thrilled to determine we could provide over $5 million – our largest patronage payment ever – to our members! Thank you to everyone who made this possible by making payments on time, and for relying on us for 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 6.1% bonus on dividends earned on eligible savings, term share certificates and variable rate accounts. Borrowers received a rebate of 6.1% of their total 2021 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 $305 in patronage for just that loan. In addition to patronage, CoVantage also provided nearly $120,000 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 $2.3 million through Change it Up.
CoVantage President Charlie Zanayed, added, “Being able to provide outstanding value is a key part of our mission and is especially gratifying when times are tough. Along with record patronage, I’m humbled to share that in December 2020 CoVantage was ranked 1st in the nation out of over 5,000 credit unions for providing great rates and low fees (as reported by Callahan, an independent credit union research company). And in June, a Forbes survey named CoVantage the top Wisconsin credit union based on overall member satisfaction. And while this recognition is nice to receive, we’re even more thankful to now waive overdraft fees on checking accounts, which has the potential to benefit over 100,000 members who have their checking with CoVantage. We are humbled to continue to serve our member-owners, who allow us to do well by doing good.”
Further information about the CoVantage patronage program can be found at www.covantagecu.org/patronage.
CoVantage Credit Union is a purpose driven organization with a mission to welcome all regardless of wealth, providing outstanding value and exceptional service, work with members experiencing financial challenge, and remaining financially strong. Headquartered in Antigo, Wisconsin, the credit union has $2.6 billion in assets and serves over 140,000 members across all of their locations. Founded in 1953, the financial cooperative serves members living or working in 30 counties in Wisconsin and three counties in the U.P. of Michigan.