Monday, December 7, 2015

Community Financial Warms Hearts & Homes Around Michigan

PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Community Financial Credit Union is getting ready to once again donate $30,000 to local charities through its Warming Hearts & Homes campaign.

During the Warming Hearts & Homes campaign, Community Financial makes it easy to help select nonprofits in north and southeast Michigan. For every like, tweet or comment Community Financial receives on its social media sites during the month of December, the credit union will donate $25 to select nonprofits in north and southeast Michigan.

This year, The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), local food pantries and The Salvation Army “Coats for Kids” Program will each receive up to $10,000 during the campaign. These nonprofits help low-income families receive necessities like heat, food, housing and clothing throughout the winter season.

According to surveys from Michigan residents, the number of people forced to choose between paying for food and clothing or paying for utilities has grown over recent years. With the 2015-2016 winter season on its way, the Warming Hearts & Homes campaign is one of the ways Community Financial helps families across Michigan stay well fed and warm as the weather gets colder.

“Each year we run the Warming Hearts & Homes campaign, we have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of Michigan families,” Community Relations Manager Natalie McLaughlin said. “With something as simple as a social media post, community members can be a part of keeping others safe and warm.”

Community Financial team members are proud to sponsor and support these organizations who bring warmth and food to the tables of Michigan families in need.

“It’s a really wonderful to know the company you work for actually gives back to the community in such impactful ways,” McLaughlin said.

For more information on how Warming Hearts & Homes aids families in Michigan, or how to participate in the campaign, visit www.cfcu.org/warms.

About Community Financial Credit Union 
Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, membership in Community Financial Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in 23 Michigan counties. With more than 60,000 members, Community Financial provides financial services to members at eleven branch locations and through a variety of automated and online services. For more complete membership information, visit www.cfcu.org or call (877) 937-2328.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Community Financial Shares $25k for School Programs

East Middle School faculty and students,
Education Excellence Foundation members and
Community Financial team member, Julie Blaylock.
PLYMOUTH, Mich- To help bolster local education in southeast Michigan, Community Financial CU, announced it has donated funds to a number of school district foundations through the credit union's Community Shares program.

Community Shares, founded by the credit union in 1999 to serve communities in southeast and northern Michigan, facilitates donations to school projects, functions and foundations.

The credit union has made $25,500 in donations spread among eight school districts in 2015. Included in this donation were dollars to help fund grants through the Plymouth-Canton Educational Excellence Foundation, including East Middle School’s music program.

"Our local schools are the backbone of strong communities here in Michigan, and so we feel it is important to give back to the communities that have been so good to us," said Community Financial community relations manager Natalie McLaughlin. "We know that funding for our school districts is a constant challenge, so we're happy to help support educational needs wherever we can."

Working with school districts to identify programs in need of financial support, Community Financial also made donations to the Livonia Public Schools Education Foundation, the Northville Educational Foundation and the Novi Education Foundation, as well as several school districts in northern Michigan.

About Community Financial Credit Union 
Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, membership in Community Financial Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in 23 Michigan counties. With more than 60,000 members, Community Financial provides financial services to members at eleven branch locations and through a variety of automated and online services. For more complete membership information, visit www.cfcu.org or call (877) 937-2328.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Community Financial Credit Union Renames Mayflower Room in Honor of Margaret Dunning

Community Financial CEO, Bill Lawton, with supervisory
committee and board members.
Plymouth, Mich. – Community Financial Credit Union announced the renaming of its Mayflower
meeting room to the Dunning meeting room to honor the late Margaret Dunning. Members of their board and supervisory committee met in early fall for a small dedication ceremony.

Margaret Dunning, a longtime businesswoman and philanthropist, was known for her commitment to the city of Plymouth and her overall zest for life. She served on the Community Financial Board of Directors for 23 years and was influential in establishing a college scholarship program at the credit union.

“We wanted to honor Margaret’s memory by renaming this room so that people will remember her legacy in the community,” said marketing manager Sarah Cousineau. “Her years of service to the credit union and the city of Plymouth will not be forgotten.” Ms. Dunning is also remembered with a framed photograph and plaque commemorating her dedication to the community.

The credit union awarded ten recipients with Margaret Dunning Scholarships in 2015. These $1,000 college scholarships are granted to students that demonstrate a commitment to helping their communities.

For more information about Community Financial or its annual scholarship program visit www.cfcu.org.

About Community Financial Credit Union 
 Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, membership in Community Financial Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in 23 Michigan counties. With more than 55,000 members, Community Financial provides financial services to members at 11 branch locations and through a variety of automated and online services. For more complete membership information, visit www.cfcu.org or call (877) 937-2328.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Long-time Community Financial Board Member Ron Carlson Retires

Plymouth, Mich. – Ron Carlson has retired from the board of directors at Community Financial Credit Union after 28 years, CEO Bill Lawton announced today.

Carlson’s first term started in 1983, and he spent a number of years serving as either president or chairman of the board. During his tenure on the Community Financial board from 1983-1992 and 1995-2015, Carlson also served as secretary, treasurer and vice president.

The Canton resident has represented Community Financial Credit Union’s membership with humility, humor and integrity. Through his leadership and example, Carlson set a tone for the entire organization, said Lawton, who considers Carlson one of his professional mentors.

“He has the ability to see what others can be and inspire those around him to be their best selves,” Lawton said. “He guided us through good economic times and challenging times as we grew steadily throughout. He never lost sight of our cooperative nature and the need to serve all the members of our communities.”

Under Carlson’s leadership, Community Financial passionately supported and helped to inspire the development of financial literacy partnerships with local schools. With years of experience as a math teacher in the Plymouth-Canton school district, Carlson advocated the importance of helping young members develop lifelong money management skills.

“I am sure that he will never tire of teaching others in his humble and humorous way,” Lawton said. “That is in his blood.”

To learn more about Community Financial Credit Union and its board of directors visit www.cfcu.org.

About Community Financial Credit Union
Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, membership in Community Financial Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in 23 Michigan counties. With more than 60,000 members, Community Financial provides financial services to members at 11 branch locations and through a variety of automated and online services. For more complete membership information, visit www.cfcu.org or call (877) 937-2328.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Community Financial Helps Fight Local Hunger with “Feed the Need”

Plymouth, Mich. – Community Financial Credit Union, along with an array of local community organizations, worked to support “Feed the Need,” a nine-week program for lower-income students, that included ongoing activities and healthy lunches. Community Financial Credit Union donated $1,000 to the program as part of its Summer of Sharing initiative.

Many of the students that participated in the program were from the Novi School District, where nine percent of all students receive a free or reduced-cost lunch based on federal guidelines. Community Financial Credit Union was part of a community-wide coalition of organizations including the Novi Rotary, Novi Interfaith Church, the Novi Public Library, Novi Public Schools and other local businesses to support Feed the Need this summer.

There is no stronger bond than family, and that was the philosophy that pulled these organizations together. The activities and lunches were held at Village Oaks Elementary, Novi Ridge Apartment Community and Oakland Glens mobile home community. More than 1,750 lunches were served to Novi schoolchildren this summer, translating into an average of 160 children served per week.

“This was truly a community event – with so many caring people involved to make it a great summer for these children,” said Community Financial Credit Union Community Relations Manager, Natalie McLaughlin. “There were healthy lunches and the program ran all the way until the end of the summer.”

This is the credit union’s fifth year donating $60,000 total to various charitable organizations and causes as part of its Summer of Sharing program. A number of Community Financial Credit Union employees helped out at the program’s events this summer, including Novi Branch Manager Nancy Pieske and McLaughlin.

Additional information about Feed the Need is available at www.feedtheneednovi.org. To learn more about Novi Schools visit www.novi.k12.mi.us. To learn more about Community Financial Credit Union and its Summer of Sharing program visit www.cfcu.org.

About Community Financial Credit Union
Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, membership in Community Financial Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in 23 Michigan counties. With more than 60,000 members, Community Financial provides financial services to members at 11 branch locations and through a variety of automated and online services. For more complete membership information, visit www.cfcu.org or call (877) 937-2328.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A “Perfect Storm” of Factors Leads to a Busy Mortgage Year in 2015

Plymouth, Mich. – Pent-up demand for new home purchases, consumer fear of rising interest rates and increased consumer equity have created a “perfect storm” for an active mortgage and refinance year thus far, said Eric Esser, Chief Mortgage Lending Officer with Community Financial Credit Union.

“An unexpected dip in interest rates early on this year set up the busy season as already historic low mortgage rates became even more affordable,” Esser said. While rates have climbed up slightly, they have remained very affordable, causing Community Financial to have one of its busiest mortgage and refinancing years in the credit union’s 64 year history.

“Consumers realize that now might be the time to take advantage of these rates because there are just so many signs that indicate they won’t get any cheaper,” Esser said. “The popular sentiment is that rates and home prices are both going to go up although we have been saying that for awhile.”

One of the reasons for the expectation of rising rates is that the Federal Reserve has given many signs in recent months that it will raise the prime rate. However numerous factors, such as economic instability in Europe, a tumbling stock market in China and general political uncertainty around the world, have likely caused the Federal Reserve to wait on rate hikes.

Meanwhile rising home prices and slowly expanding credit opportunities are causing more homeowners to consider a move. “Credit is still pretty tight, but over the last few months and years it has slowly been loosening up,” Esser said.

Community Financial Credit Union’s mortgage department practices “common sense underwriting” and has credit opportunities available for members including bridge loans, which allow homeowners to take equity out of their current home and put it toward a new home, making it possible to buy a new home without first selling an existing one. This loan essentially “bridges the gap” between the time the old property is sold and the new property is purchased.

“Conventional loans for those with good credit can be had for just 3 percent down,” Esser said.

Contact the Mortgage Services Department at Community Financial Credit Union for more information by calling (734) 582-8500 or visit cfcu.org/mortgage to learn more.

About Community Financial Credit Union 
Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, membership in Community Financial Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in 23 Michigan counties. With more than 50,000 members, Community Financial provides financial services to members at 11 branch locations and through a variety of automated and online services. For more complete membership information, visit www.cfcu.org or call (877) 937-2328.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Starkweather Academy in Plymouth Benefits From $1,000 Summer of Sharing Grant and Student-Run Credit Union

PLYMOUTH, Mich. – When Starkweather Academy in Plymouth was looking to jumpstart a music program at its alternative high school last year, Community Financial Credit Union was there to help the school afford musical instruments and a PA system.

Now for the second consecutive year, Starkweather is one of the recipients of a $1,000 grant as part of Community Financial’s $60,000 Summer of Sharing donation to organizations across southeastern and northern Michigan. This year that money received by the academy will be used to buy around 100 new books for young adults, that Starkweather teacher Emily Szachta says will help encourage its students to continue good reading habits.

“We started our musical program from nothing and this year we identified the need to get some new contemporary books for our students,” Szachta said. “We now have a full pop music band, and I am really looking forward to going on a shopping spree so that our students aren’t just reading books that were written long before they were born.”

Starkweather Alternative High School promotes lifelong learning by offering a comprehensive educational program addressing individual educational goals and preparing all students to achieve personal excellence and become successful contributing members of society. Its roughly 200 students come primarily from the Plymouth Canton and Livonia school districts, but others from as far away as Detroit.

Starkweather has also been involved in Community Financial’s student-run credit union for the last three years, and Szachta says that there are always a handful of students that stay very active in the credit union program each year.

“It’s good for them to be able to learn financial literacy where the bank comes to them,” Szachta said.

Getting community support can sometimes be hard for Starkweather because the school is not as visible as the more traditional high schools in the area, Szachta said. As a result, having community partners like Community Financial Credit Union is critical to the school’s success.

“We’re big into school pride here and trying to help our students gain confidence in them,” Szachta said. “We couldn’t afford to provide our students with new supplies without the help of organizations like Community Financial that are investing in the future of our cities.”

Community Financial has donated more than $180,000 through its Summer of Sharing program since 2011.

About Community Financial Credit Union 
Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, membership in Community Financial Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in 23 Michigan counties. With more than 50,000 members, Community Financial provides financial services to members at eleven branch locations and through a variety of automated and online services. For more complete membership information, visit www.cfcu.org or call (877) 937-2328.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Community Financial is Donating $60,000 to Local Charities During Summer of Sharing

PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Community Financial Credit Union is asking, “What GOOD could you do with $1,000?”

That question kicks off another season of Summer of Sharing, when Community Financial donates $1,000 a day for 60 days to nonprofit, educational and community organizations throughout Michigan.

This is the credit union’s fifth year donating $60,000 during their Summer of Sharing program. President and CEO Bill Lawton is excited to keep the tradition of sharing alive in 2015.

“We are inviting the community to tell us which organizations are doing great work and deserve additional financial support,” Lawton said. “It is part of our culture to give back to our communities, and we are proud to once again bring back the Summer of Sharing.”

Community Financial started accepting nominations from the public on June 3rd. Members of the community can visit www.SummerOfSharing.org and share their story explaining the good their favorite nonprofit provides to the local community. These stories stay live on the site for others to learn about how local nonprofit organizations are benefiting their communities.

Throughout the next three months, Community Financial will announce the winning recipients on www.SummerOfSharing.org. Community Financial has donated over $180,000 through its Summer of Sharing program since 2011.

About Community Financial Credit Union 
Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, membership in Community Financial Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in 23 Michigan counties. With more than 50,000 members, Community Financial provides financial services to members at eleven branch locations and through a variety of automated and online services. For more complete membership information, visit www.cfcu.org or call (877) 937-2328.

Friday, May 1, 2015

2015 Community Financial Credit Union Scholarship Winners Announced

PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Students from several high schools in northern and southeastern Michigan were honored as the 2015 Community Financial Scholarship award winners recently, continuing the credit union’s commitment to supporting youth education in local communities.

The scholarships were awarded to 20 students, in collaboration with the Community Foundation of Plymouth (CFP) and the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF). Community Financial’s scholarships are awarded to students who exemplify the credit union’s “People Helping People” philosophy. Students received either a $1,000 Margaret Dunning or George Lawton Memorial scholarship, or a $500 Employees’ Children Scholarship and were honored at a reception April 27, 2015.

This year’s scholarship winners are as follows: George Lawton Memorial Scholarship winners include: Andrew Carlone of Novi, Ashley Greer of Alpena, Leya Maliekal of Novi, Mason Van Pamel of Hillman, Michael Shao of Northville and Spencer Waldo of Northville.

Margaret Dunning Scholarship winners include: Benjamin Weeks of Wixom, Carson Burmeister of Grayling, Christine Kardel of Canton, Eden Hunt of Hillman, Lauren Conley of Plymouth, Natalie Filipowicz of Novi, Reena Mathew of Novi, Shannon Kievit of Lewiston, Tanner Vincent of Novi and Thomas McMaster of Novi.

Employees’ Children Scholarship winners include Kelly Kerwin, Lindsey Birrell, Michaelene Michels and Cassandra Kolka.

“All of these students are outstanding students and citizens and deserve our applause for their accomplishments,” said Bill Lawton, Community Financial president and CEO. “We are proud to support their education going forward and look forward to seeing what they accomplish next.”

Community Financial scholarships are part of an annual essay and recommendation-based program. To learn more about the scholarships Community Financial offers visit www.cfcu.org/scholarships.

About Community Financial Credit Union 
Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, membership in Community Financial Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in 23 Michigan counties. With more than 50,000 members, Community Financial provides financial services to members at 10 branch locations and through a variety of automated and online services. For more complete membership information, visit www.cfcu.org or call (877) 937-2328.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Community Financial Credit Union Asks Residents to give a "Thumbs Up For Charity"

Plymouth, Mich. -- When a job is well done, a common sign of approval is a thumbs up. Now, Community Financial Credit Union is offering the community a chance to give a collective thumbs up and $25,000 to its favorite charities.

From now through April 3rd, Community Financial will be accepting nominations from individuals sharing which charitable organization they think deserves a "Thumbs Up" and a donation in recognition of the good work it does in the community.

Nominations can be made at www.cfcu.org/ThumbsUp

Five finalists will be chosen and the community will vote which charity should receive the top donation of $10,000. The charities that finish in second and third place will receive $5,000 each, and the fourth and fifth place finalists will each receive $2,500.

"The nonprofit groups in our communities do an amazing job and we are proud to support them throughout the year," said Community Financial marketing manager Sarah Cousineau.

"However, we wanted to provide the residents of our communities a chance to tell us which groups they think deserve recognition, and "Thumbs Up for Charity" gives them that opportunity."

For more information about Community Financial and the Thumbs Up For Charity program, visit www.cfcu.org or www.Facebook.com/CommunityFinancial.

About Community Financial Credit Union 
Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, membership in Community Financial Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers, or attends school in the Michigan cities, townships or counties of Plymouth, Canton, Northville, Novi, Alpena, Otsego and Montmorency. With more than 54,000 members, Community Financial provides financial services to members at eleven branch locations and through a variety of automated and online services. For more information, visit www.cfcu.org or call (877) 937-2328.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Community Financial Credit Union Partners with Community Foundation in Plymouth and Ann Arbor to Award Scholarships

Plymouth, Mich. - Community Financial Scholarship Fund, in collaboration with the Community Foundation of Plymouth (CFP) and the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF), will be awarding 17 individual $1,000 scholarships to deserving college bound members in southeast and northern Michigan in April.

Community Financial administers the two scholarship funds in honor of Margaret Dunning and George Lawton, individuals who epitomize the credit union's "People Helping People" philosophy.

To qualify, an applicant should have his/her own Community Financial Credit Union account and have it open for a minimum of six months prior to submitting the application. Applications must be completed by Tuesday, March 17, 2015 and are only available online at www.aaacf.org/scholarships.

"We're pleased to be able to recognize some of our best and brightest students with this scholarship," said marketing manager Sarah Cousineau. "Every opportunity for financial aid helps young men and women realize the dream of a college education, and we're happy to support our student members in any way we can."

For more information about the Community Financial Scholarship Program visit http://www.cfcu.org/scholarships.

About Community Financial Credit Union 
Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, membership in Community Financial Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in 23 Michigan counties. With more than 50,000 members, Community Financial provides financial services to members at 10 branch locations and through a variety of automated and online services. For more complete membership information, visit www.cfcu.org or call (877) 937-2328.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Community Financial Warms Hearts by Supporting Michigan Nonprofits

Plymouth, Mich. – Forecasters are not predicting another polar vortex this winter, but Michigan temperatures have still been dipping below zero. Severe cold this time of year puts extra strain on families that are forced to choose between paying utilities and putting food on the table.

That’s why Community Financial Credit Union started the Warming Hearts & Homes campaign. This unique program engages community members on social media to help direct Community Financial donations to organizations that assist Michigan families in staying warm and well-fed during these cold winter months.

For every Facebook like, tweet and Instagram picture Community Financial received, the credit union donated $25 to select nonprofits in north and southeast Michigan.

When the campaign concluded in December, Community Financial donated $40,000 to local nonprofits. Recipients were: The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), food pantries in north and southeast Michigan, The Salvation Army’s “Coats for Kids” program and Habitat for Humanity of Michigan. Each group received a $10,000 donation.

2014 marked the third year of the Warming Hearts & Homes campaign. The program began in 2012 to enhance the well-being of the communities the credit union serves.

The entire Community Financial team is dedicated to supporting the fight against cold and hunger in Michigan this winter.

“As the temperature drops,” said senior marketing rep. Susan O’Connor. “We can never take our warm coats for granted. Families all over Michigan can’t just turn up their heat. They have to balance feeding their kids, providing them coats and having a safe, warm home. This program is just another example of how Community Financial steps up to help our neighbors and why I’m proud to be a member and employee of the credit union.”

For more information about Community Financial and Warming Hearts & Homes, visit www.cfcu.org or www.Facebook.com/CommunityFinancial.

About Community Financial Credit Union 
Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, membership in Community Financial Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in 23 Michigan counties. With more than 50,000 members, Community Financial provides financial services to members at 10 branch locations and through a variety of automated and online services. For more complete membership information, visit www.cfcu.org or call (877) 937-2328. 

Community Financial Credit Union, P.O. Box 8050, Plymouth, Michigan 48170-8050;
© Community Financial 2013
Federally insured by NCUA.
Equal Housing Lender
Additional coverage provided by ESI.
Federally insured by NCUA.