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Mississippi Federal Credit Union Thrives Off Sharing Success with Community

By Mason Gendron and Kayli Hankins
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With a focus on paying it forward, the staff at Mississippi Federal Credit Union work tirelessly to provide financial success to the LOU community.

MFCU’s Oxford branch sits directly across from the University of Mississippi on Jackson Ave. Photo via MFCU’s website.

From their early beginnings staffed only by volunteers, MFCU has always strived to build the credit union by sharing their success with the community around them. With programs such as Co-op Shared Branching that help students from out-of-state access their funds from anywhere in the country and youth programs like Bonsai that provide free financial literacy courses to local schools, MFCU takes a hands-on approach to support their customers and community.

Co-op Shared Branching not only brings in students, but it also brings in members from other credit unions, called “guest members.”

Justin Harmon, vice president of business development at MFCU, said that with the help of shared branching, MFCU now ranks above Chase as being a part of the second-largest branching system in the country.

“We exist to serve our members because they are the owners of the financial institution themselves,” said Onice Carter, MFCU Vice President of Oxford and University branches.

On campus, MFCU holds a breakfast for university orientation leaders to ensure that students will have direct access to information about what the credit union offers. Benefits such as low-interest rates on loans back to members, higher interest rates on savings and dividends, and deep community involvement ensure that MFCU customers continue coming back for business.

Unlike other banks or credit union branches, MFCU was initially started for people who could not obtain loans.

A “No Credit Check” loan and “Plan Ahead” loan are available for members who have been a part of the MFCU for a minimum of six months and are focused around helping those who have bad credit or who may not have credit at all and are looking to build credit.

MFCU even partners with community businesses to host events, like Fergndans’s Pizza. They were also involved in Double Decker weekend by planning a FIT carnival at Lafayette High School with Operation Fit Nation. Operation Fit Nation is a foundation with the goal of prioritizing health and healthier behaviors in the Oxford community.

“We are as involved with the university as they will allow us to be. Anything we can do in Oxford, we are definitely all in,” Harmon said.

Local involvement with MFCU has grown tremendously in the last 10 years as membership has doubled. Oxford and Lafayette County school districts have also joined with MFCU to allow all teachers at their schools easy access to membership.

MFCU’s involvement in schools does not stop there. The credit union has gone the extra mile to contribute to education by providing the Bonsai program – a free financial literacy program in schools that educates students about financials.

“We want to make sure the kids, no matter what age or grade level, come out with a good understanding of what the world of finance is,” Harmon said.

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