On February 18, 2023, the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) wrote the SECU Board asking that the proposed introduction of risk-based lending at the Credit Union be rescinded. The SECU Board responded on February 24, 2023 with an invitation for SEANC leaders to visit the credit union to discuss risk-based lending. SEANC welcomed the invitation for discussion and immediately accepted. The joint meeting was scheduled for March 23, 2023. On March 1, 2023 the SECU Board began risk-based lending at SECU!
Despite the slap in the face, SEANC honored its commitment to meet with SECU on March 23rd. As you might imagine, no progress was made on RBL. Nothing seems to change the mind of the current SECU Board. Why change your mind, when you always know what's best; when you feel no responsibility to justify your decisions; and when you believe you enjoy immunity from being held accountable?
One snippet from the meeting, which got shared around, was SECU's statement about a risk-based loan example: Look it's only $34 more per month, what's the problem! - a response which kind of exemplifies the new culture, new attitude among the leadership at SECU. That "slightly higher" $34 per month costs that member $2,000+ extra ($34 x 60 months = $2,040) over the life on an $18,000 loan!
Breaking it down to imply it's just " a slightly higher cost" (see loan example and "extra interest" column on chart below) is right out of the sales play book of your local "Fast Eddie's Used Cars Sales and Towing Service - Buy Here, Pay Here" franchise. Those car dealers - often as unreliable as the cars they sell - give a whole new meaning to the phrase "roadside service included with all our cars"!
Here's the truth which SECU refuses to speak: Many beginning level jobs for state employees and new teachers pay @ $36,000 per year, or about $3,000 per month. After mandatory deductions - taxes, social security, FUTA, retirement and other such mandatory reductions - take home pay is @ $2,100 to $2,400.
While that "just an extra $34 per month" is evidently not a big deal to the SECU ("Let them eat cake") Board. Over the life of an $18,000 used car loan, that "extra $34" equals a month's take home pay for the SECU member...
By adopting risk-based lending on this loan, the SECU Board has decided to unjustly grab a month's take home pay out of the pockets of hard working North Carolina state employees and teachers.... that's not right.