For Antigo Times
A record $2.1 million in patronage has been deposited into the accounts of members who borrow and save with CoVantage Credit Union. This represents a 22% increase, or $380,000 more than the credit union returned in 2014.
The 2015 patronage program has two components – a bonus on dividends earned for those who save, and a loan interest rebate for those who borrow. CoVantage saving members received a 5% bonus on the amount of dividends earned on eligible savings, term share certificates and variable rate accounts. Borrowers received a rebate of 5% of their total 2015 interest paid on qualifying vehicle, home equity, in-house mortgage, credit card, and commercial loans. For example, if a member paid $5,000 in interest on their home loan, they were eligible for a rebate of $250 for that loan. CoVantage Credit Union President Brian Prunty reported, “2015 was a great year for CoVantage, and we want to thank all members who rely on the credit union to meet their financial needs. We are especially grateful to borrowing members for using our loan services more than ever, and for making timely payments which resulted in extraordinarily low loan losses this past year.”
CoVantage has provided this patronage payment every year since 1981, a concept that originated many years ago as a way for cooperatives to give extra value to their members. Most credit unions have abandoned the concept of patronage, but not CoVantage. Annually, the board of directors determines how much income is needed for regular dividends, operating expenses, and capital, which are funds maintained to ensure the credit union remains financially strong. Any excess gives CoVantage an opportunity to pay patronage. According to Paul Payant, chairman of the CoVantage board of directors, “During my years on the board, I’ve learned there are many things that make CoVantage unique. Topping the list is our long-standing tradition of providing patronage, which puts this credit union in a class of its own. Part of the CoVantage mission is to provide outstanding financial value, which we do by offering great rates and low fees every day. For the credit union to end the year by depositing $2.1 million into the accounts of the people who do business with us is simply icing on the cake.”
Further information about the patronage program can be found at www.covantagecu.org/patronage.
CoVantage Credit Union is a community chartered credit union that serves members throughout Brown, Clark, Florence, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Portage, Price, Shawano, Taylor, Vilas, Waupaca and Wood Counties in Wisconsin; as well as in Iron and Dickinson Counties in Michigan. The financial cooperative is headquartered in Antigo, Wisconsin, and has branch offices in Shawano, Wausau, Weston, Rib Mountain, Rothschild, Stevens Point, Rhinelander, Crandon; along with two Michigan offices in Iron River and Crystal Falls.