2021: A year in review with OCCU

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The greatest power for change, says author Margaret J. Wheatley, is a community discovering what it cares about.

The past year has prompted all of us to reflect on what we care about, what we value, and what we prioritize. At OCCU, it’s our members and communities. Everything we do is in service to our vision to enrich lives.

Strong communities are the foundation of our future well-being — and when we invest in each other, everyone benefits. One of the reasons we love our members is because you get it. Every day, we see you showing up for each other. We see your compassion and empathy. And we see how your caring and support makes everything we do possible.

Building community resilience truly is a team effort — and together we’ve done a lot of building this year.

Building communication and trust

Good communication is a two-way street, which is why we’re always eager hear about your experience with us and your feedback on how we can serve you better. Your willingness to share has helped us grow and improve, and we want to show you the impact you’ve made.

We’ve implemented several changes this year based on your feedback through the Member Enrichment Program. For example, we have:

  • Opened our new Royal branch to increase services for members in that area.
  • Improved our mortgage processing experience.
  • Updated our old ATMs with more human-centric technology.
  • Created a loan payment chart to outline all the ways you can pay for your OCCU loans.
  • Enhanced the MyOCCU Online & Mobile login experience—including the addition of the “Remember Me” setting.

Building financial stability

We know that paying fees can compound your financial stress when you’re already struggling. That’s why we made eliminating fees a top priority. In 2021, we continued our efforts to reduce or eliminate many of the fees typically charged by financial institutions, saving our membership $1.8 million over the next year. Here are a few of the changes we’ve made:

  • Reducing the extended overdraft fee from $17 to $9.
  • Absorbing costs for members who make loan payments with a debit card.
  • Waiving the first extended overdraft fee, late fee or Skip-A-Pay fee in a 12-month period.
  • Forgiving extended overdraft fees when an account is brought to a positive available balance before end-of-day processing.

Building our physical presence

Being active and engaged members of the communities we serve is important to us.

We’ve continued to expand our network of branch locations as well as the services we provide—starting with an upgrade for all our ATMs and the rollout of our new video teller service. We also:

Building bridges

Coretta Scott King said the greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members. We’re continually astonished by the outpouring of support we receive for our charitable arm, OCCU Foundation (OCCUF), and we’re humbled by the passionate nonprofit organizations that are working to build partnerships and bridges to a better future.

This year OCCUF has partnered with 10 new nonprofits and donated more than $550,000 to organizations that are making an impact in our communities and supporting continued wildfire rebuilding efforts. These include:

  • PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center Foundation
  • Parenting Now
  • Blessings in a Backpack
  • McKenzie Community Development Corporation
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities
  • Salem Health Foundation
  • Volunteers in Medicine
  • Project Hope of Lane County

Of course, the year isn’t over yet and there’s always more we can do. If you’d like to join us in making a difference, you can maximize your impact by giving to OCCU Foundation. Throughout our annual season of giving, OCCU is offering $100,000 in matching donations when you make a contribution.

Building better lives

Everyone needs a little extra help from time to time, and the past 18 months have brought many financial challenges. Our member impact loan program has helped us meet our members where they’re at with small, non-traditional loans designed to provide financial support in unforeseen situations. These loans allow us to look beyond the typical qualification information and find a way to help our members through difficult times.

Over the past year, we’ve helped our members purchase new eyeglasses so they can drive safely, pay for emergency surgeries and ongoing medical care, help their loved ones in times of crisis, and buy air conditioning units during a heat wave.

As we start looking ahead to 2022, we’ll continue to focus on bringing even more value to your OCCU membership, serving as your trusted financial partner and meeting you wherever you are on your financial journey.