NIHFCU Takes Scientific Approach To Growth

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ROCKVILLE, Md.-With an eye toward vertical growth, National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union (NIHFCU) has partnered with Women in Bio, an organization for females working in bioscience in Baltimore, Washington and Northern Virginia.

"Women in Bio represents a growing and budding group of people that are going to do some great things in our country, and we want to grow with them," said NIHFCU CEO Juli Anne Callis.

NIHFCU changed its charter from a community charter to a TIP (trade-industry-profession) charter, so it is also working with various physicians' associations, medical social workers and other niches within the biomedical field. The $550-million CU is now the country's largest credit union serving the biomedical and healthcare industries.

Since the partnership with Women in Bio was launched, NIHFCU's focus has been on providing mortgages and small business loans to these new members. "Many of these folks have very significant levels of student loans, and if they have sufficient equity in their home, we help them move beyond the student loan as a separate payment" and bundle the two together, often without increasing the member's monthly bill.

Additionally, there is also a member-education element in play. "I've seen some of these young women coming up, highly educated in many ways about the sciences, but often they're rather naive in their skills in managing finances," said Callis.

As such, NIHFCU has begun a series of seminars , with more in the works. Although the CU is tracking new members as a result of the partnership, that is not the sole goal of the program. "We want partnerships serving the industry that we've rechartered to serve," she said.

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Growth strategies