Connections Credit Union Employee Turns Members’ Desperation into Tears of Joy

Jordy Riddle could see it on the couple’s faces as soon as they walked through the door of Connections Credit Union.

They needed help and, so far, everybody else had turned them down, leaving them feeling dejected and a little desperate.

“They had several loans in the past and a great history with us,” said Riddle, who serves as the credit union’s Twin Falls, Idaho, branch supervisor.

The husband had a job, but the wife had stopped working after she got sick. She was battling cancer and the two of them faced a stack of hospital bills. They needed a second car for her to drive to appointments and get around town. But their mounting debt made it difficult to get qualified for a loan.

“One of the things I love about Connections is the flexibility that we have to help members,” said Riddle, who was determined to find a way to help.

Riddle channeled the credit union philosophy — putting people before profits. Because of their not-for-profit, cooperative structure, credit unions are uniquely positioned to meet members where they are and offer highly individualized solutions.

The couple held the title to an RV and had a loan on a truck. Riddle realized she could get a loan on the RV to help pay off the medical debt and refinance the truck loan to a lower payment to reduce their debt-to-income ratio.

Many calls to the used car dealer later, Jordy came up with a solution that included three new loans that altogether cost $50 more than what the couple had been paying for their one truck each month.

“Once I told them they were approved, the member cried,” Riddle said. “She grabbed ahold of me and cried and cried. She’d had so much go wrong.”

The encounter turned out to be a life-changing experience for all involved. Two years later, Riddle reports the couple always makes their loan payments on time.

Though they’ve moved to another state, from time to time, the wife calls to check on Riddle and her kids. Her most recent call came on the anniversary of Riddle’s grandfather’s passing.

“They’ve become family to me,” Riddle said. “I’d do anything for her.”

Visit NWCUA’s CIRT/ECONorthwest Resource Center for more stories about how credit unions are making a difference for their members and communities.

Posted in Article Post.