It’s been in business since 1993, but most Episcopalians of the Diocese of Los Angeles don’t realize that the Echo Park-based Episcopal Community Federal Credit Union exists — or that they are eligible to use its wide range of services.
“We’re not just in Echo Park,” says Urla Gomes, who served the credit union for many years as executive director and recently returned as interim director. “We have online banking, and are accessible through a network of ATMs and shared branches in the Co-op Shared Branch system” domestically and abroad.
“We have mobile phone transfer, bill pay and more services,” she said. “Congregations can come to us for loans up to $49,999, currently at 5 percent interest.”
The credit union is based at the Cathedral Center of St. Paul, and its services are offered to all Episcopal Church members and those connected with ministries provided by the church.
In addition to providing banking services for Episcopalians, ECFCU invests in its community, as it has done since it was founded in the wake of civil disturbances following the Rodney King trial in 1992. Then-Bishop Frederick H. Borsch and diocesan leadership established the credit union as a resource for people who were unable to get loans and other assistance through the commercial banking system. The credit union has given loans to people starting businesses, or needing money for transportation in order to get to work. It also offers financial counseling, as well as tax preparation through its VITA program, open now through April 7.
In order to follow its motto, “Those who have, helping those who have not,” ECFCU needs more Episcopalians to become members and take advantage of its services so that it will have capital to continue helping those who need its assistance.