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2013 Highlights

Self-Help’s mission is to create and protect ownership and economic opportunity for all. That means making loans to people who aspire to buy their first home or launch a small business. It means building stronger communities by lending to nonprofits, community health facilities and public charter schools. It means investing in communities that have been forgotten. And it means standing up for fair public policies that promote wider opportunities for the working families we serve.

Self-Help Credit Union’s annual member meeting, held in the newly renovated Maureen Joy Charter School.

Self-Help Credit Union

North Carolina

Expanding access to financial services in North Carolina

In 2013, we welcomed 11,000 new members through a merger with United Services Credit Union, which has served western North Carolina since 1954. We also introduced new products and services, including mobile banking and a WealthBuilder loan for members with high-cost credit.

  • Serves 51,000 members in North Carolina
  • Self-Help Credit Union branches: 21

Self-Help Federal Credit Union

California and Chicago

Helping families in California and Chicago.

In 2013, we provided our members with responsible financial services, such as small-dollar loans, checkless checking and loans for young immigrants. We also offered hybrid check-cashing/credit union services to nearly 20,000 unbanked customers. In Chicago, where Self-Help stepped in to purchase the operations and loans of a failed bank, we helped more than 130 families avoid foreclosure.

  • Serves 50,000 members in California and Chicago
  • Self-Help Federal Credit Union branches: 20

Growing to Serve More Members

From 40,000
credit union
members to
in 4 years!

Holding the line: No new states authorized payday or car-title loans in 2013.
photo cc-by-nc-nd by adotmanda on flickr

Helping to Shape New Mortgage Rules

We helped to create the new "Qualified Mortgage" rules that will help avoid another housing crisis and bring the market back to safe, sustainable lending.

Working to Save Millions for Citizens

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has returned over $3.8 billion in refunds and relief to almost 13 million consumers. We worked to keep the CFPB strong and able to do its job.

Ending Bank Payday Loans

Many banks were in the business of making triple-digit interest payday loans to their customers. In 2013, we worked with regulators to put an end to this debt trap practice.

Conducting Groundbreaking Research

We conduct research that informs national and state policy. Our comprehensive research series, State of Lending, brings to light abusive financial practices and empowers fair lending advocates.

Elizabeth Mobley and grandson Knoah. A Self-Help loan helped Elizabeth buy her home, just a block from where she grew up in Charlotte, N.C.

Affordable Home Loans

Lending to working families for 30 years.

We made 479 home loans in 2013 – more than we’ve ever made in a single year. Our flexibility allows us to serve borrowers of all kinds, including families with high aspirations but low resources. We also work with troubled borrowers to help them avoid foreclosure.

When the balloon payments on their overpriced mortgage kicked in, the Davises couldn’t keep up and lost their home. With a new, more affordable loan from Self-Help, they're now homeowners again. Watch the video.
# of home loans made


Building and financing affordable housing to help families, neighborhoods and communities.

The effects of the mortgage crisis persist: damaged neighborhoods, families struggling to recover from foreclosure, and lower-income buyers shut out of the market by cash-ready investors. We develop and finance affordable housing to help solve these problems, focusing in hard-hit neighborhoods where our investment will make a strong impact.

affordable homes created in 2013


- Financed development
- Directly developed


One of the 19 homes and apartments Self-Help developed last year in Charlotte, N.C., in partnership with Crossroad Corporation for Affordable Housing.

Community investments

Redeveloping historic buildings and downtowns.

A $10 million renovation turned a vacant, century-old building into a new home for Maureen Joy Charter School in Durham, N.C. The makeover employed cutting-edge green technology. The result: a beautiful energy-efficient space for a public charter school offering high-quality education to 600 mostly low-income students.

$16 million of real estate
    development in 2013

Tyler Kober, owner of Bullseye Bicycle. A loan from Self-Help’s SBA 504 program helped him expand his downtown shop and hire more employees.

A member of the lending team visits Self-Help borrower FLS, a solar energy company that will create 25 million watts of clean power each year.

Generating Impact

Lending to projects that make a big difference.

We make loans that have a positive impact for local economies and communities. In 2013 our lending included complex commercial real estate projects, big loans to public charter schools and more than $11 million in loans to solar energy installations across North Carolina.

$80 million

in commercial loans in 2013
Over 1600 jobs

created or maintained in 2013


Supporting education, child care and other community services

Every child deserves access to a high-quality education. We lend to child care centers and high-performing public charter schools that address the achievement gap. In 2013, we lent $62 million to community service providers like charter schools, child care centers, nonprofits and affordable housing developments.

student slots created or kept

Become a part of our story.

We're building on the successes of 2013, but can't do it alone.
Please join us in our work.

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Learn more:

Self-Help Credit Union
Self-Help Federal Credit Union
Center for Responsible Lending
Download our full annual report (PDF)

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