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February 22, 2020

1/2/2020 7:23:00 AM
CoVantage returns a record $4 million in patronage to members

A record of over $4 million in patronage has been deposited into the accounts of members who borrowed and saved with CoVantage Credit Union. This is more than double what was paid out five years ago; and a 19%, or $600,000, increase in just the last year, the credit union announced in a press release.

Patronage is a concept of giving back that originated among cooperatives many years ago. Most have abandoned the practice, but at CoVantage, patronage has been paid to member-owners for the past 39 consecutive years, the release states.

According to CoVantage Board Chairman Lee Siler, "the board determines how much income we need to pay regular dividends and operating expenses, and keep in reserves to ensure we remain strong during difficult times. Because of our financial strength, and the fact that more and more members are trusting CoVantage with their loans, deposits, and cards, we had a successful 2019. We are thrilled to be able to provide members over $4 million - our largest patronage payment ever! In the last three years alone, our patronage program has returned over $10 million to members. On behalf of the directors, I want to extend my thanks for new and long-time members, and for all who make their loan payments on time, as ongoing low delinquency was also a factor in this record return."

This year's patronage includes a bonus on dividends earned for those who save, and a loan interest rebate for those who borrow. CoVantage depositors received a 5% bonus on dividends earned on eligible savings, term share certificates and variable rate accounts. Borrowers received a rebate of 5% of their total 2019 interest paid on qualifying vehicle, home equity, in-house mortgage, credit card, and commercial loans. For instance, if $5,000 of interest had been paid on a home loan, the member would receive $250 in patronage for just that loan. In addition to patronage, CoVantage also provided nearly $100,000 to members through the CoVantage match of the Change it Up debit card savings program. This year more members than ever are spending and saving with their CoVantage debit card and have collectively saved over $2 million through Change it Up, the release notes.

"Part of our mission is to provide outstanding everyday value, and I'm humbled to share that in September 2019, CoVantage was ranked 4th out of 5,400 credit unions nationally for providing great rates and low fees (as reported by Callahan, an independent credit union research company)," added CoVantage President Charlie Zanayed. "This was the 13th year in a row CoVantage was honored to be in the top 1% of credit unions for providing outstanding value. Thank you for allowing us to serve you and for allowing your credit union to continue to do well by doing good."

More information about the CoVantage patronage program can be found at www.covantagecu.org/patronage.

CoVantage Credit Union, headquartered in Antigo, has $1.9 billion in assets and serves over 120,000 members across all their locations. Founded in 1953, the financial cooperative serves members in 18 counties in Wisconsin and three counties in the U.P. of Michigan.





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