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Self-Help Credit Union

Our Credit Union Members

Our impact is best demonstrated by the people we serve

Self-Help Federal provides quality financial services to all, with a focus on reaching people of color, women, rural residents, and low-income communities. Our sister credit union Self-Help has been working in North Carolina since the early 1980's to serve diverse populations. Since our establishment in California, Chicago, and Florida Self-Help Federal have been providing financial services to many agricultural workers and immigrants.

Altogether, our two credit unions serve over 150,000 people. Self-Help Federal has 17 branches in California, 9 branches in Illinois, and one branch in Wisconsin.  

Isaias' Story

Isaias Sandoval was born in Temixco, Morelos, Mexico.  After struggling to make ends meet and finding it hard to support his family in his hometown, he immigrated to the United States in 1986, in search of a better future.  Isaias was fortunate enough to have friends living and working in the Chicago area, and they offered him a place to live until he could get settled and rent a place on his own. 

Within a week of arriving to the United States, Isaias landed a job as a dishwasher in a nearby restaurant.  After working several years and gaining experience in the kitchen, he worked his way up to a cook’s assistant position.  All was going well, until Isaias discovered he had chronic kidney failure and diabetes – leading to a leg amputation, and regular dialysis treatments.  He has been disabled for the past 8 years and his wife and daughters work and contribute to the family expenses. 

Isaias never gave up hope, and after 18 years of saving, the family had enough for a down payment toward their first house.  Long work and several jobs for all the family members, sometimes two jobs at a time, all contributed towards qualifying for a loan, through Second Federal, a division of Self-Help Federal Credit Union.  Isaias had heard about Second Federal through his realtor, and after trying to qualify for loans elsewhere, Second Federal was able to make his dream of home ownership a reality. 

With the assistance of the Hardest Hit Funds Program (HHF), established in 2010 by the U.S. Treasury, Second Federal was able to submit a request that resulted in a $50,000 award towards a reduction of Isaias’ principal balance on his home loan, bringing his monthly mortgage payments from $2,000 down to $1,000. 

Today Isaias has mobility thanks to a prosthetic leg, received a kidney transplant in January of 2016, and has a mortgage payment he can manage.  He is extremely grateful to Second Federal and their staff, who believed in him, and helped to make his dream come true.  

Sandoval's Family Home