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Love is in the air
Who says credit unions don't know from romance? Whether encouraging members to shop local when they're planning date night, helping them save money with inexpensive — but romantic — budgeting ideas or even helping protect the terminally single who are looking for love from falling for catfish scams, here's how the credit union movement is celebrating Valentine's Day this year.
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Lower East Side Peoples Federal Credit Union is celebrating Valentine’s Day all month long by offering members 10 percent off their bill at select local restaurants when they use their credit union debit or credit card. Members can also enter a raffle to win one of two $100 vouchers for dinner for two by sharing their experience at business member locations via Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #PEOPLESVDAY.
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A hot rate
Stamford Federal Credit Union in Stamford, Conn. hopes to heat things up for members with a special Valentine’s Day-only rate on share certificates.

Members who visit the CU on Feb. 14, 2018 can receive a 24-month share certificate with a 2.00 percent annual percentage yield.
Chuck Purvi is president and CEO of Coastal FCU
Coastal gives back
Coastal Credit Union in Raleigh, N.C. marked the holiday by giving more than 51,000 members a loyalty bonus — the largest dividend payout – in both number of recipients and value — in the credit union’s history.

More than $23 million was returned to members based on the credit union’s overall performance in 2017, and individual shares of the giveback were calculated based on each member’s aggregate relationship with the credit union, including year-end loan balances, average deposits and length of relationship with the CU.

“As a member-owned cooperative, we’re in a unique position to share our success with our membership,” said Chuck Purvis, Coastal’s president and CEO. “We don’t have to answer to Wall Street investors. So, after all expenses are paid and our reserve requirements are met, we can look at using our earnings to best benefit our members. One big way that we do that is by returning some of it directly to the people who helped us earn it.’”

Average payouts ranged from $5 to $300, and the total giveback is estimated to be more than $23 million — a significant increase over previous years. The credit union said it has returned $14.2 million to members in the past seven years.
SDCCU protects singles looking for love
Recognizing that romance isn’t for everyone, San Diego County Credit Union is offering an anti-Valentine’s Day event of sorts.

Paul Greenwood, deputy district attorney for San Diego County, is set to host a seminar on “Romance Scams and Love Fraud” at the San Diego Operations Center. The event is part of SDCCU’s Financial Wellness Wednesdays, which were launched in partnership with the San Diego County Library in support of Live Well San Diego.

With online dating increasingly popular, Greenwood will cover ways would-be love-seekers can protect themselves from scams.

“Online dating has become increasingly popular among single men and women searching for love. But unfortunately, this popularity has also piqued the interest of scam artists, and many times one’s quest for love may find fraud instead. During the seminar, Greenwood will cover current scams, romance scams and ways to protect yourself,” the credit union said.
Complex offers simple budgeting tips
Complex Community Federal Credit Union, Odessa, Texas, used its website to offer members inexpensive dating tips. From cooking dinner for a significant other to going on a picnic or a hike, the credit union said, “You don’t have to spend all your money on a fancy dinner out or a big trip, instead surprise your Valentine with one of these great dates!”
More romantic budgeting tips
Alabama CU also offered budget romance tips on its website, with suggestions including dining out at a local pizza place or taking a walk in the park, skipping gifts in favor of making memories, cooking dinner together or — gulp — reenacting your first date. Recreating first-date nervousness optional on that last one.