self help credit union building mug

FINALLY OPEN FOR BUSINESS Self-Help Credit Union opened Nov. 12 at 1104 S. Woodland Blvd., DeLand, on the southwest corner with Lisbon Parkway.

After 15 years of sharing space in Pierson with the Farmworker Association of Florida, a credit union that helps underserved communities finally has moved its office to DeLand.

Self-Help Credit Union opened Nov. 12 at 1104 S. Woodland Blvd., where a number of other businesses — including a different credit union — have operated over the years.

Self-Help bought the property in April 2019 for $395,000, but it took longer than anticipated to get the property ready to open for business, Adelcio Lugo, a regional manager for the credit union, told The West Volusia Beacon.

“It took a little while to get the permits and approvals, and then to get the renovations started and done,” Lugo said, adding that the new location will better serve its clientele, which for the most part lives in the DeLand area.

“Lots of people live and work in DeLand, so being in DeLand gives us the opportunity to continue to grow,” he said.

The new branch is managed by Marcia Pardo, a DeLand resident who oversees two other employees, Lugo said.

marcia pardo self-help credit union

THE WOMAN IN CHARGE Marcia Pardo is the manager of the new Self-Help Credit Union branch in DeLand. Pardo was assistant manager when the branch operated in Pierson but was promoted when the DeLand office opened.

Self-Help C.U. is a Community Development Financial Institution, a designation by the U.S. Treasury Department for private-sector financial institutions that focus primarily on personal lending and business-development efforts in poorer local communities requiring revitalization.

Lugo said as a CDFI, Self-Help is a nonprofit organization whose goal is for people to help themselves and other people.

“We are not here to compete with other credit unions,” he said. “We serve a different market of low- and moderate-income working families who are often left behind by other financial institutions. … Our credit union is very attuned to the community and a sense of helping each other.”

Founded in Durham, North Carolina, in 1980, Self-Help is a nonprofit community-development lender, real estate developer and credit union that serves communities traditionally underserved by conventional markets in California, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin, according to a news release.

There are five other Self-Help branches in Florida — one in Apopka and four in Jacksonville.

Self-Help Credit Union helps drive economic development and strengthen communities by providing responsible financial services; lending to individuals, small businesses and nonprofits; developing real estate; and promoting fair financial practices across the nation, the news release adds.

Self-Help offers a full range of financial products and services, including personal, vehicle, mortgage and business loans. Self-Help also offers a dynamic online and mobile banking system.

The DeLand branch opens at 10 a.m. every weekday, and closes at 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

For more information on how to join, go to www.self-help.org or call 386-749-1718, a number that is being transferred from Pierson, Lugo said.