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Credit union with heart

They're doing it right

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America's Credit Union, headquartered in DuPont, has been a consistent contributor to the local community since it opened its doors in 1954. Not surprisingly, a primary focus for ACU, which boasts three branches on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, is giving back to the military servicemembers and families who are at the heart of their business.

"Because so many of us are veterans and come from military families, supporting JBLM is all part of our core beliefs," stated ACU CEO and President Ken Leonard, who grew up as an Army brat himself.

Recently, ACU was granted the Exceptional Contributor Award from the Association of the United States Army 6th region because of their $160,000 contribution to the JBLM community in 2012. Leonard was also given the 6th Regional Certificate of Commendation, along with an I Corps Certificate of Appreciation for his role in running a charity golf tournament for the last 12 years.

"ACU is always looking for ways to support our members, through products and services that are tailored to meet the unique needs of our military families," Leonard said.

As such, ACU does offer a number of programs and incentives to its members, like the Payroll/Employment Loan, which allows members who are transitioning out of the military and in need of additional cash to borrow up to $5,000 at zero percent APR for the first 60 days (then 3 percent APR for the remaining 12 months); the Military Advantage Loan that can help members establish or improve credit ratings; and the Relocate, But Don't Start Over Program, which helps members that might be PCSing or ETSing by waiving select account service fees for a period of six months.

"What makes us different is that we have remained committed to our core field of membership which is our local military families, veterans, and retirees," Leonard said. "We have added locations on the installation, we also continue to expand our ATM network on base and, additionally, just this year we added mobile deposit, so our members can deposit checks anywhere using their smartphones."

In the coming months, ACU will partner with Stars and Stripes on a toy drive to benefit Santa's Castle and the credit union will also participate in the annual Turkey Drop and Ham Grenade, which delivers turkeys and hams to struggling JBLM soldiers and airmen during the holidays.

Of course ACU, which was recently estimated to have $396 million in accounts and over 42,000 members, also shows support through sizable donations. Over the past year, ACU has given $10,000 to the Pierce Military Business Alliance, $30,000 to the USO Northwest and raised another $30,000 at the ACU Annual Turkey Shoot charity golf tournament in support of various JBLM nonprofit organizations. The credit union has also donated more than $40,000 to support active-duty military activities and programs through the JBLM Directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation, from Freedom Fest to Operation Care Fair to the Army Ten Miler.

For more information on ACU and its member programs, visit

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