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Writer  /  Christy Heitger-Ewing

Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 1.12.37 PMCommonwealth Credit Union, which has served the St. Matthew’s community for nearly six years, has a tagline they live by: “We better lives through our passion to serve.”

“We want to help people understand Commonwealth Credit Union and give them an opportunity to capitalize on their financial success with our products and services, but that also means helping other businesses in St. Matthews to really flourish,” says Bethany Yates, Assistant Branch Manager.

This is why they are involved with the Chamber of St. Matthews. In fact, in 2019 they won the Community Champion Award from the Chamber because of the investment they make in community.

“We try to partner not just with financial institutions or through financial products but also give back at the grassroots level,” says Yates, noting that every year they sponsor the St. Matthews Street Festival, which serves to elevate community spirit. In addition, they sponsor the trick-or-treating event Halloween at Brown Park as well as Light Up St. Matthews, the annual celebration that kicks off the holiday season.

Commonwealth Credit Union works closely with local schools to help students start out with financial developments in education that can carry on in secondary school or trade school and going forward in life.

And they have partnered with St. Matthews Library to provide informational social security seminars with accredited financial advisors. Each spring they also host mortgage seminars during after-hours operation so that community members can come to the branch and ask mortgage loan officers questions about the process.

Bethany Yates“This one-on-one time enables people to feel more comfortable with a process that can feel overwhelming,” Yates says.

For the past two years, Commonwealth Credit Union has also partnered with Metropolitan College regarding their tuition reimbursement offered through UPS.

“We help students get a good handle on finances because having a financial partner they can meet with may mean they’ll be able to graduate college debt-free,” says Yates, noting that many of them have never been away from home and, as such, have never been in charge of their own finances and budget.

They are looking at trying to get into high schools as well to give teachers a liaison to help educate on financial empowerment. Because banking isn’t what it once was. For instance, these days fewer people write checks.

“The more we get away from those traditional forms of banking, the less those skills are being passed on,” says Yates, noting the importance of educating the community at large about online security and the safety of online practices. For instance, members of the older generation may receive a check in the mail that’s a scam.

Yates has found that as the banking community has evolved, so, too, has their team’s banking style.

“It’s not about just coming into the branch anymore,” Yates says. “Now we are more active listeners to determine what may be a better product for a customer. It’s more about conversations than about debits and credits.”

Commonwealth Credit Union is located at 3704 Frankfort Ave. in Louisville. For more information, call 502-564-4775 or www.ccuky.org.

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