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The Way Credit Union

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Don't know exactly what the rules for CUs are, but one thing they could do is invest the funds received...pay some interest (at lower rate) to members...and keep some of the interest as management fees. The money doesn't just sit there in some bank account doing nothing. If enough people put money in the CU, there's a sizeable sum that can be invested to earn interest.

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Credit unions are non-profits, and earn $ by taking membership fees, deposits and loan interest, and investing them. Returns go back as dividends to the members - lower loan rates, low cost or free services like checking, credit card, etc.

If The Way CU doesn't give loans or issue credit cards, they could exist to offer savings accounts, checking services and debit cards.

If the investment strategy is sound they should be stable and show a + return on investments. (last couple years have been admittedly tough).

I've been a member of a credit union for years that has been rated #1 or in the top 5 country wide for years, and is actually one of the-standard bearers for CU's nationally. Their performance is outstanding and they've lowered rates for secured and unsecured loans - even in the last two years.

No offense to any Wayfers but I don't see that they'd be all that good at having a CU of their own. They could probably do the basics pretty well but if they're not offering loans or using the resources communally - why bother?

I'd be interested in knowing what they do offer - financial services? Help to set up IRAS's, retirement accounts? Trusts? Financial advice? Tax services?If they don't have anyone there with the background or interest in managing and participating (CU's are self-governed) they may be SOL and be in neutral.

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We were actually members of the Way Credit Union longer than we were members of the way itself---back in the days when they still issued loans...I suppose the WCU is more of a convenience thing for staffers and such, considering how the way feels about credit and all that...

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The CU was located in the OSC last I knew, and Staffers worked there only so many hours. Could their expenses be much lower than a "normal" credit union?

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Credit unions are non-profits, and earn $ by taking membership fees, deposits and loan interest, and investing them. Returns go back as dividends to the members - lower loan rates, low cost or free services like checking, credit card, etc.

If The Way CU doesn't give loans or issue credit cards, they could exist to offer savings accounts, checking services and debit cards.

If the investment strategy is sound they should be stable and show a + return on investments. (last couple years have been admittedly tough).

I've been a member of a credit union for years that has been rated #1 or in the top 5 country wide for years, and is actually one of the-standard bearers for CU's nationally. Their performance is outstanding and they've lowered rates for secured and unsecured loans - even in the last two years.

No offense to any Wayfers but I don't see that they'd be all that good at having a CU of their own. They could probably do the basics pretty well but if they're not offering loans or using the resources communally - why bother?

I'd be interested in knowing what they do offer - financial services? Help to set up IRAS's, retirement accounts? Trusts? Financial advice? Tax services?If they don't have anyone there with the background or interest in managing and participating (CU's are self-governed) they may be SOL and be in neutral.

Back in the days of 1981-85 and thereabouts......The Way Credit Union did offer loans. Years before the debt-doctrine mandates hit and before twi's leadership saw how this would impact the mobility of corps assignments, many staffers at hq took out loans/mortgages for their homes. I believe that loans were given to those CU members in the surrounding area as well. My wife and I were members, but didn't take out a loan.

Not sure what happened during those turbulent "fog years" (1986-1990).

When debt came upon martindale's radar in 1992/93......the loans to members were discontinued, but the credit union remained open for members/staff. When all corps went full-time staff in 1995, applications were sent out for all corps to become members so twi could direct deposit their paychecks into The Way Credit Union. There was strong encouragement to sign up, but corps could provide their OWN personal bank or credit union information. I chose to have twi send my paycheck to me or my personal banking account.

In retrospect, I see how twi wanted to become the one-shop, all-in-one financial entity for every twi follower......and with their prying eyes, and controlling ways, it just didn't seem like the way to conduct my affairs, no?

Edited by skyrider

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Around 2004 there was about two outstanding loans at the CU. I believe they were in the @$5k range . . . not significant. Though at the CU meeting they spent a few minutes explaining that these little embarrassments were being paid back quickly.

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Anybody know how the Way CU makes money? They don't give loans to members (at least not openly).

I don't think they do make money. They don't pay for physical structures or rent as their offices and in-person banking services are done on TWI grounds. Their officers are elected and I don't know if they are compensated - if so I'm sure it is minimal. I think people working there may be employed by TWI, but not sure.

It's a vehicle that TWI uses to avoid banking fees in distributing payroll basically.

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Interesting stuff -

"I believe that loans were given to those CU members in the surrounding area as well. My wife and I were members, but didn't take out a loan.

I remember in the initial phase there was a standing amount of 40k for any home purchase in the area as long as you had the down payment amount. The Way wanted to scoop up real estate in the surrounding county - quite a few people put together deals to get homes around the area. A lot of them were very basic mid-western hmmm...construction but there were some decent deals I remember seeing (lived there throughout 1973-80). It kind of sucked though because if you had parents who'd give you a down, then you could step into your own home with nothing more than a signature.

The Way knew if and when you moved - and everyone eventually moved - they'd either be able to take over the home, loan, rent or resell. I can guarantee you the long term goal wasn't to see people have homes of their own, it was to expand the Way's influence locally by having lots of Wayfers own property.

A CU that doesn't serve a common interest amongst it's members isn't in compliance with the spirit of the laws that govern CU's. That can get technical but there has to be 1. a common relationship that brings the members together and 2. shared benefits amongst the members.

I guess if you're getting direct deposit that's a benefit buuuuuut, seems kind of a stretch if it's just collecting fees but not offering services of any kinds and doesn't give loans.

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In later years (post-fog) I reckon it'd just be yet another means of keeping "oversight" (=control) over people's finances. If you built up too much of a credit balance, you were clearly not living on a need basis. And being a CU, you couldn't go overdrawn. But they could see when you were drawing out money and form a view of what you might be doing with it.

And don't bother thinking confidentiality stuff. Lots went on that was supposedly confidential. Yeah, about as confidential as a colander. Would the head honcho of the CU be the Prez of TWI? There you go, then. As Prez, would have access to everything that went on there.

I wonder how much pressure there was on staffers to get paid via CU accounts? Because if, as one poster says, it didn't cost in TWI bank fees then it'd be saving ABS, wouldn't it?

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I wonder how much pressure there was on staffers to get paid via CU accounts? Because if, as one poster says, it didn't cost in TWI bank fees then it'd be saving ABS, wouldn't it?

From what I remember it wasn't pressure as much as convenience. If you live at HQ it's more convenient to bank there. If you didn't, then direct deposits go in on payday. If you want another bank setup, there is a wire charge as well as at least a day or two delay. Very few would choose to pay a fee every deposit and endure a delay just for the price of using their own bank.

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I was on Staff from 1996 to 2001. At that time, I remember them mentioning they gave a few loans to local farmers. I remember some verse being quoted in the old testament making it OK for them to interest on loans from non-believers.

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Hmmm. I do believe Chock that most employers offer direct deposit of payroll as a service to employees, and the charge is paid for by the employer. Nothing's "free" of course, but that means there's no transacton charge back to the employee. There are also no delays typically caused by bank selection when it comes to electronic transfers. I know the "Bank of the Way Woods" would be closer than say, the Bank of Wapak, or whatever but today it doesn't really matter. So I'm surprised to hear there was a delay and any charge for the transaction if a person banked outside the Credit Union. As an employer the Way would pay whatever charges there would be for the transaction.

Also, if Credit Unions are formed within a company, the company's head officers would typically not be on the board of directors (which are elected by the members) of the credit union and although they as members could be they usually aren't - it's run as a separate entity outside the normal business trade of the company and the relationship that forms the common bond that forms the legal basis for the existence of the Credit Union.

That's interesting Notawayfer - Geography is a relationship that could be the basis for a Credit Union - so local farmers in Auglaize-Shelby County could get loans from the Way's Credit Union - if that's the how the Way set up with federal regulators when forming their Credit Union.

So the Way's Credit Union would have had to be established with that purpose and intent, and then accept memberships, opened accounts with fees and minimum deposit requirements met, and then extended loans.

Which makes me wonder if the "farmers" were Wayfers...? and the relationship defining the Way's CU was based on participation in the Way, rather than on the geographical relationship....? Because in theory if it was geo based, any and all could apply as members if they met the membership requirements - they could also participate in the yearly board meetings, election of board members, etc. etc.

The "interest" to "non-believers" is BS - if the bible is the basis for that then the same parts of the bible used outline extending loans to "believers" (O.T. stuff) without imposing interest charges, or usury. (which the Way must have cut out of their bibles then)

I doubt federal regulation would allow for a prejudicial application of deposit and loan policies based on religious affiliation if the CU is formed around a community relationship. In essence the core group would be penalizing itself, extending benefits to some but not others - these guys pay interest, these guys don't. Or - these guys get loans, but these other guys are highly "advised" not to apply for any. That doesn't wash on an even playing field.

Scratching my head even more now....interesting topic! shortfuse, don't mean to derail or distract.

(*And Wayfer lurkers, don't come after me cuz I'm asking questions - I'm not inferring that the Way is doing anythng illegal. I'm sure the Way dotted their I'S and crossed their T'S when doing this. But there may be more to it and different issues to it than are commonly known. I'm just askin' and if anyone out there can speak directly to this I'm sure it would be welcome).

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Also, if Credit Unions are formed within a company, the company's head officers would typically not be on the board of directors (which are elected by the members) of the credit union and although they as members could be they usually aren't - it's run as a separate entity outside the normal business trade of the company and the relationship that forms the common bond that forms the legal basis for the existence of the Credit Union.

TWI doesn't do things typically or usually. It makes up its own rules. As we know from other topics, there are lots of secret dealings and secret property dealings going on.

For instances, when I applied to be in rez, I had to complete, or ratehr get a doctor to complete, a (very personal) medical questionnaire (including a smear test result!!!) - medical stuff is usually disclosed doctor to doctor - yet years later, I heard from LCM's own mouth that he himself checked all the medical questionnaires...well perhaps that was just for the women. :redface:

If they involve themselves in that level of personal detail, why not get involved in financial personals, too?

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Can't argue with that Twinky. I'm just saying - on average you won't see the CEO or President of a company as the head of the CU when it's formed around the membership of their company.

If anyone looks up "The Way" under this site http://www.ncua.gov/ they can see the public report on their credit union, including current # of membership, who's the manager of it and their total assets. You can also get reports by clicking on links on the left. It's public data, nothing hidden about it. They seem to have performed ok, with some dips in the 2009-2010 period which wouldn't be unusual for investment performance.

I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I'd guess that by the numbers - if they have 973 members and assets of 12.5 mill, rounding up to a 1,000 and dividing - it would sound like if the assets are the results of accounts (no active loans show) and investments, they've done okay. But I have to wonder if the average member has 10-12,000 dollars in their account, or if it's mostly investment or if it's mostly the Way's assets. Dunno. They don't seem to have done much by way of performance over the last couple years, little up, little down, a little down currently. Overall, about average? I guess it it's just for the convenience of doing their own business it's right that it would be pretty flat.

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When I was on staff (82-86), I did my banking in St. Marys. I didn't do direct deposit and don't remember whether that option was offered. Going to the bank on my lunch hour on payday gave me a good excuse for not eating lunch at the OSC anyway (which, toward the end of my time there, was punctuated by LCM or Mrs. LCM tirades--not an aid to digestion). They did offer loans then, because I took out a car loan there. The people running the CU weren't board members/officers of TWI.

Whether they extended membership to people in the area later, I don't know, but it wasn't that way when I was there. Allowing/inviting people to join who aren't with the core organization is not unusual. The one I belong to was founded for teachers of a certain school district. At first they opened membership to people working for certain nearby companies, then later they opened membership to people in the nearby communities and later still, to family members of credit union members. In fact they actively solicited this.

Interestingly, a lot of the RC parishes around the city have their own credit unions. One of them is about a 1/2 mile from my home, and I never got an invitation to join, so maybe credit unions established for members of a church are allowed to stay exclusively for those people.

Of course TWI "has no members," so I don't know how they got around that one. :biglaugh:

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It certainly could Linda. It doesn't have to be one qualifier, can be many and like your example could be extended to include a diverse group.

If it was only for Wayfers - say, grads of whatever their teaching series is these days, "regular" attendees of a fellowship and financial supporters of the Way - then it would be a defined group. And while the Way claims no "members", that's really an echo of a distant past we know - yet, something like a CU would create a like for like in that situation, by defining the CU as their own group and then opening "membership" to it in the CU. It's semantics at that point, always an active playground.

It's just interesting if membership opened up to include non-"participants" of the Way - that's the only way someone could get a loan from them, by being a member and that would include various rights and whatever services are provided. It wouldn't be exclusively the Way then. It would be in their interests to have a larger group like that as I'm sure there's local expertise and most importantly, money, to bring to the party. But it's at odds with their closed-corporation mentality.

One of the most basic benefits of a CU is in the pooling of resources amongst a group to leverage their financial strength. It's probably one of the easiest and simplest methods to realize what the Way's taught as it's vision of the early "church", sharing "abundantly" amongst themselves. It provides a tangible conduit for financial services and advise to be distributed in a user friendly environment where the profit motive in the bank isn't the primary driver.

Based on the reports online I read, they're only source of income is the return on investment of the assets. No loans or activity to speak of, unless I missed something. (very possible).

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If anyone looks up "The Way" under this site http://www.ncua.gov/ they can see the public report on their credit union, including current # of membership, who's the manager of it and their total assets. You can also get reports by clicking on links on the left. It's public data, nothing hidden about it. They seem to have performed ok, with some dips in the 2009-2010 period which wouldn't be unusual for investment performance.

Interesting link there socks.. Thanks for the info.

Course, after looking them up, I'm wondering if they forgot an extra 6 in their Charter number.. '66066'. I've thought for a long time that 666 was a good label for them.. Ahh well, what do I know.

I believe your right as far as the $ they make. It's all in their asset investments which really is hard to make much off of these days. I'm curious as to in what they invest those though, but I'm sure that's pretty confidential, right?

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Like that? Try THIS ONE. Clicking through this will give you lots of public information about the Way CU, including the board members, etc. etc. Etc.

I saw that too TAO - in a Way world where there are no coinkidinks, no accidents and no "luck" - one wonders what they thought of that number. That's a lot of 6's.

Their investment strategy? That would be their business but I'm sure there's paths out there to follow that would give a view into it if anyone had the time and energy. (I'm running out of both but just sayin')

Performance is up! for the last 10 years - it appears as the Way sold it's properties and what-not they socked it away. If their approach was safe 'n' steady - a good idea for a credit union - it makes sense that they'd have grown and not shrunk.

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Like that? Try THIS ONE. Clicking through this will give you lots of public information about the Way CU, including the board members, etc. etc. Etc.

Wow.. Now that's a lot of information.. A couple things I notice:

A) Their interest on savings/CD/IRAs are low.. Especially their IRA's which is 3x less than the state average, their CDs almost half. Are they holding back money or what?! This is really sad.. I mean, most those at HQ, especially Corp are told about the wonderful benefits of the Way's CU IRAs.. And then to see that they don't compare to other banks and CUs, you wonder if anyone else is aware! Or maybe I'm just misreading that there info..

B) And they say they do offer "indirect" lending.. Interesting..

Thanks socks..

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Yeh, the indirect lending setup with an auto dealership could be used facilitate their fleet auto transactions, would be my guess but that's only a guess.

General note: not to you TAO or this thread specifically but if someone goes to this information they'll see that part of the public record includes an email address for the credit union. That's for their business related communication and inquiries. The purpose is clearly and plainly not intended as a means to communicate with the Way on other matters. It should not be used to blast the Way with non-business or non-transaction related communications. Doing anything like that will be wrong and will surely get the sender in hot water and rightly so.

I'm just sayin' this as a personal disclaimer - if someone tries to use it to for other reasons they'll be ignored I'm sure - there's no reason for the credit union to respond to non-related communication and if it's negative stuff they'd be well within their ethical and legal rights to take steps to put a stop to it.

This information is public and didn't just show up out of the blue. But I don't want to be implicated if somebody gets a bee in their bonnet going and thinks it's funny to bomb their email address with junk. I would never do that, encourage that or suggest anyone do such a thing. It ain't right. .

Anyhoo I just felt the need to write that, assuming it's common sense and to clearly state my own position - happy holidays! :)

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I don't think they'd be keen to expand membership of the CU to non-Wayfers, locals or not. After TWI kicked me out, a couple of years later, the CU kicked me out as well. Can't have "unbelievers" contaminating the worthy CU.

Edited by Twinky

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How does the credit union make money?

One Answer: I believe that they use their money and deposit in the local Botkins banks.

I saw Safety guys (and Paula B)pick up deposits from Finance, and then from the CU each

morning, and take them to both Bank One (now Chase) and Star Bank in Botkins EVERY weekday.

What's funny - they are willing to give their money to banks, that loan out the money, and give

them the interest, that they in turn pay out to their CU members. So, it's kind of like saying

'using and selling drugs is wrong, so we will not let our people do so. However, there is no

problem giving money for someone else to sell them.....who care's about the evil 'unbeliever' (in

their case, this meant anyone...devout Christian or not), who was not in their group, if they

use bad / evil stuff that we contributed to. As long as we make money, and our own people don't. :confused:

No one at the CU had any background in investments, financial servics, or such. The CU head honcho wanted to make an arrangement with some local 'believer' who was an investment professional, but he 'copped out.'

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