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Self-Help Federal Credit Union
Milwaukee Member Overcomes Obstacles
on the Road to Strong Credit

We at Self-Help Federal Credit Union often are privileged to hear personal stories from our members. In Milwaukee, our staff have had the pleasure of meeting Andre Jones, a man who has generously shared his story with us.

Andre grew up on the South and West sides of Chicago in a loving, stable home. Nevertheless, in his pre-teen years, he found himself getting into trouble, and eventually he left high school and started hanging out with a rough crowd. After going through major life disruptions, Andre realized he needed to change his mindset and environment. He discontinued his affiliation with people and places that no longer aided his positive development, and he also reclaimed an education.

Although he was back and forth between Chicago and Milwaukee, it was in Milwaukee where Andre’s success began to emerge. He got involved with youth organizations, community politics and economic development. He also started a career in real estate via a sponsorship from the Wisconsin Realtors Association’s (WRA) Partnership for Success Program, dedicated to promoting diversity among local REALTORs.

Andre’s life was looking good until he encountered significant losses in real estate and other side ventures. As he tried to recover, Andre’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to an investment opportunity that created another large debt obligation. To make matters worse, the pandemic hit. Bills started piling up, and Andre’s credit profile suffered.

Andre’s initiative and “can do” spirit helped him to get back on his feet. While attending the “State of Black Illinois Conference 2020” sponsored by the Cook County Black Chamber of Commerce he met Seaway President, Daryl Newell. Daryl spoke about credit union services and products designed to boost credit scores and help build wealth.

Andre located Self-Help Federal in Milwaukee, opened an account, took out a Fresh Start Loan (a loan for building better credit) and a Secured Credit Card. In less than one year, he improved his credit score by nearly 250 points! Recently, he also closed on a personal signature loan with the credit union.

Today Andre wants to spread the word. “I see a lot of people that need this product, and may not understand how much they need it. I want to be the first to share this gem with them. It can single-handedly change your life!” 

We’re glad to play a positive role in your life story, Andre, and look forward to hearing about your ongoing success. (A more detailed version of Andre’s story appears on our website, link at

Celebrating International Credit Union Day

International Credit Union Day is on October 21, and this year’s theme is “Building financial health for a brighter tomorrow.”  For the past 73 years, credit union members around the world have recognized this special day on the third Thursday of October. We are honored to be part of the member-owned, mission-driven credit union community, which includes 274 million members in 118 countries celebrating the credit union difference. 

This year we are honoring the day by offering members a special gift at our branches. Gifts will be distributed in the branch lobbies and at drive-thrus.  Please come by and see us on October 21 to claim your gift!

A New Community Center in Bakersfield

Dolores Huerta spoke during a celebration of $15 million in funding secured for the Dolores Huerta Peace and Justice Cultural Center in downtown Bakersfield.  Source: 

On August 11, the city of Bakersfield, California held a special celebration for a very special woman. After a lifetime of advocating for the civil rights of farmworkers, Dolores Huerta was surprised to learn of plans to honor her legacy with a multi-million-dollar community center in downtown Bakersfield.

“When this was first presented to me at the Foundation, I thought, ‘really?’” she told a crowd gathered at the site of the future facility during a ceremony.  “It took a lot of people working together to make this happen.”

The ceremony was held to celebrate the passage of the California fiscal year 2021-22 budget, which includes a $15 million allocation for the Dolores Huerta Peace and Justice Cultural Center. The allocation nearly fully funds the Center, which is planned for 2100 H Street at the site of the Bakersfield Self-Help Federal Credit Union branch.

The H Street location will be the future headquarters of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, and also will house a youth center, a cultural center honoring the many diverse people who live in the Central Valley and an events auditorium. Among the resources offered will be early childhood development programs. 

The Bakersfield branch, which currently takes up a portion of the property, has a long history with Dolores. In 2010, the credit union merged with Kern Central Credit Union which had merged with the Farm Workers Credit Union in 1995. Founded in 1963 by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, the Farm Workers Credit Union served as the first financial institution for farmworkers in Kern County. To find out more about how Self-Help Federal’s legacy ties with their remarkable farmworker advocacy, watch our short video, “Kern Central Credit Union: A Legacy of Serving Workers in the Fields.”

“We knew from day one, that with all this extra land, we had to do something special,” Self-Help Federal President Steve Zuckerman said. “We had to do something that would add to the community of Bakersfield and the Central Valley.”

The Self-Help branch will be demolished, and a new branch will be built on the corner of H and 21st Streets.


  • The Annual Members’ Meeting of Self-Help Federal Credit Union will be held virtually on Wednesday, November 3, 2021, beginning at 5:00 PM PDT/7:00 PM CDT. Please join us as we discuss Self-Help Federal’s activities of the past year and celebrate the collective impact of our members, staff, partners, supporters and friends.  More information will be included in your September statement mailing.
  • Reduce holiday stress and get a loan you can afford. Self-Help Federal will once again be offering our Holiday Loan. Qualified members can borrow up to $2,000 at 9.9% APR* for 12 months.  Available until the end of the year.  *APR = Annual Percentage Rate.
  • We’re offering free financial resources to members by partnering with GreenPath, a nationally-recognized organization. For great financial tools and money management tips, try the self-guided modules on the GreenPath website, watch the videos, use the handy calculators or call to speak with one of their live counselors. When calling, just mention that you're a member of Self-Help Federal Credit Union. The service is free to members and their families. 
  • Do you like what we do at Self-Help?  Interested in joining our team, or do you know someone who might be?  Click here for a list of our current job openings.

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