Metro Credit Union on Helping Consumers Weather a Tough Economy

PSCU - Credit Union Tracker: Credit Unions' Key Role In A Tough Economy - December 2022 - Explore how economic conditions impact consumers and the role of credit unions in times of economic uncertainty

Robert Cashman, president and CEO at Metro Credit Union, tells PYMNTS how credit unions (CUs) can be a port in a storm for members hurting under current economic conditions. 

Despite positive economic signs, consumers are still feeling the pain. With talk of a future recession, consumers are worried about the economy. The Federal Reserve appears to be concerned as well, as it continues to raise interest rates. Although some experts anticipate that the cost of living will soon stabilize, consumers are in need of aid now. Cashman, who presides over the largest state-chartered CU in Massachusetts, noted that increased interest rates make it difficult for people to keep up with payments, pay down principal amounts or afford to buy a new house. 

“Continued rate increases significantly impact our members, especially those who carry consumer debt or plan to take on new obligations,” he said.

With consumers in distress, CUs can help. They are different from traditional banks in that CUs are built around the premise of people helping people, Cashman said. As such, CUs are in a unique position to help consumers navigate the troublesome economic environment. 

“We know that when members feel engaged and prioritized, they remain loyal to a financial institution, so we are committed to providing the same consideration to them,” he said. “Our members are our biggest asset, and we understand that they put a lot of trust in us, especially during difficult economic times.” 

Metro Credit Union is working to equip its members with the tools they need to succeed in a bad economy and beyond. Cashman explained that the CU has a robust team of experts to assist members looking to buy or refinance a home — especially first-time home buyers — throughout the entire process and make mortgages more accessible and affordable than ever. The CU also offers a competitive certificate of deposit (CD) rate to provide members with options to save money while keeping pace with inflation. 

Education is also an important component of how Metro Credit Union helps members. Cashman said the CU places a strong emphasis on financial education by offering a plethora of seminars, trainings and online resource materials that can help guide members through challenging times. This educational content is designed to be useful for members of all ages and life stages, whether they are recent graduates just starting out on their own and learning to budget and save or older people planning for retirement. 

“We even have resources for children so our kids have early access to the tools they need to be informed and confident as adults,” he added.