Bridgeway Federal Credit Union Receives $99,999 for their Community Development Initiative

Bridgeway Federal Credit Union was awarded $99,999 through the U.S. Department of Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund as part of the $17 million awarded to 24 credit unions.
Michelle McCourt
Michelle McCourt
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Credit Unions
Low Income


Poughkeepsie - New York - US

Sept. 26, 2012 - PRLog -- Poughkeepsie, NY – On Monday, September 24, 2012 Bridgeway Federal Credit Union was awarded $99,999 through the U.S. Department of Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund as part of the $17 million awarded to 24 credit unions.

The funding is a part of a nationwide round of awards totaling 186.8 million to 210 CDFIs serving struggling communities in states across the country. The credit union made history as one of only 24 credit unions to receive U.S. Treasury grants in the largest single announcement of award dollars and award recipients in the CDFI Fund’s history.

“Bridgeway Federal Credit Union received this grant, because it does more to help people in their community than other credit unions and banks operating anywhere else in the country,” said CU Strategic Planning CEO, Chuck Cockburn, the natation’s leading authority on credit union CDFI grants.

The grant will be used by Bridgeway Federal Credit Union for its Community Development initiative, which focuses on providing low cost financial products and services to low income and underbanked/underserved individuals in Dutchess, Ulster and Orange counties, New York. Bridgeway FCU has already rolled out several products such as its Credit Builder Loan, which helps individuals establish a positive credit history; Opportunity Checking, which provides individuals that have been denied at another institution a second chance at opening a checking account; Second Look Program, which is a second review by a seasoned loan officer on all declined loans, to see if there is a way to approve the applicant; Drive Up Savings, a special savings account tied to an auto loan, which helps members build their savings and rewards them for good savings habits with a reduced interest rate.

The grant funds will go towards creating additional products and services for its Community Development Initiative, and includes training for staff to become certified financial councilors. The Bridgeway staff will be providing financial counseling to their members to help educate them on improving their financial position.

“Bridgeway Federal Credit Union’s Community Development Initiative exists to help the hard working people of Dutchess, Ulster and Orange counties, New York. The CDFI grant funds will provide additional resources to enhance our program offerings,” said Michelle McCourt, President/CEO for Bridgeway Federal Credit Union. “We are ecstatic about this opportunity to provide specialized products and services to help underserved and low to moderate income individuals get to a better place in their lives.”

Bridgeway Federal Credit Union’s Community Development initiative exists, because it is a not-for-profit alternative to predatory lenders and big banks. The credit union is also a cooperative, which means that the people that own it benefit from any profit it does make, instead of investors in for-profit-bank’s stock. Bridgeway Federal Credit Union is additionally unique because its work to help its community is compelling beyond that of traditional credit unions, which is why it is eligible for the U.S. Treasury CDFI grant.

The Department of Treasury established the CDFI Fund in 1994 to provide affordable credit, capital and financial services to underserved populations and distressed communities. It receives bipartisan support and has thrived through both Democratic and Republican administrations, in part because it encourages independence and creates jobs, increases private investment in communities and is methodically measured to produce results without creating dependency. With the announcements of these awards the CDFI Fund has awarded just over $1.8 billion since inception.

About Bridgeway Federal Credit Union
Bridgeway Federal Credit Union was founded in 1935 and is the oldest continuously operating credit union in the Hudson Valley, serving anyone that lives, works, worships or attends school in Dutchess, Ulster or Orange Counties, N.Y. Their main office is located at 21 Burnett Blvd. in the Town of Poughkeepsie. Additional branches are located in LaGrange at the corners of Route 55 and 82, in Fishkill inside the Walmart Supercenter and on the grounds of the Taconic Development Disabilities Services Office in Wassaic. For additional information visit or call 845-452-3451.

Bridgeway Federal Credit Union’s CDFI application was developed by CU Strategic Planning. In addition to Bridgeway Federal Credit Union’s grant, CU Strategic Planning set an unprecedented record of writing nearly half of all award winning credit union CDFI applications. More about CU Strategic Planning at

Interview and photo available with Michelle McCourt, President/CEO. Contact Melissa Walsh at (845) 452-3451 ext 1106 or by email
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Tags:Grants, Credit Unions, Banking, Low Income, Underserved
Location:Poughkeepsie - New York - United States
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