Affinity Plus Wins Community Service Award for Eliminating Fees
Saint Paul, Minn. – Affinity Plus has been honored with a 2022 Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award. The award, sponsored by the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), recognizes credit unions that demonstrate in an extraordinary way the practical application of the movement's principles in serving their members.
The credit union was honored for the “Financial Inclusion: Overdraft Fee Changes For Those Who Need It Most” program.
Non-sufficient fund fees (NSFs) cost Americans billions each year and disproportionately impact people from underprivileged communities and Generation Z.
Affinity Plus transformed its fee structure in the summer of 2022 to tackle this issue. The credit union became the state’s first to eliminate outdated NSFs and dramatically reform charges for courtesy payment services. The changed fee structure:
- Puts nearly $5 million back into members’ pockets over the next five years.
- Reduces fees paid by the entire membership by 63%
- Reduces fees paid by racial minority groups by 67%
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s winning entry will advance to the national competition, where it will compete with financial education projects from credit unions in other states.
“We knew it was a bold approach, but it’s only been a year and already the results show that cutting non-sufficient funds fees and reducing overdraft fees is the right thing to do: it’s good for our members and it’s good for business,” said Dave Larson, Affinity Plus CEO.
The award is named in honor of Louise Herring, an active supporter, organizer and champion of credit unions. She was the Ohio delegate to the 1934 national credit union conference in Estes Park, Colorado, where she signed the original constitution for a national credit union association. Herring believed that credit unions should work in a practical manner to better people's lives. She saw the credit union as more than just a financial institution. In her own words, "The purpose of the credit union is to reform the financial system, so that everyone can have his place in the sun."