As financial uncertainty lingers on the minds of many Arizonans, Arizona Federal Credit Union (AZFCU) continues its support of veterans to help them achieve greater financial literacy, independence, and resiliency, with their incorporation in the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP). Developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Benefits Administration, this program provides veterans, and their families, secure ways to electronically receive VA benefits, manage their monetary benefits and reduce the number of fraud cases.
The first, and only, Arizona-based financial institution to be approved and added by VBBP, Arizona Federal was chosen for their understanding of veterans’ unique financial needs and willingness to work with veterans to achieve financial independence.
“As an institution who truly believes in empowering our member-owners to take hold of their financial future, joining a coalition of like-minded credit unions and banks with intent to help those who have served our country was an easy decision,” says Jason Paprocki, EVP & Chief Operating Officer at Arizona Federal Credit Union. “Veterans face many challenges after exiting the military. Whether finding a job befitting of their training or affordable housing for themselves and their families, we hope this program can ease some of their financial decisions and set them on a path to success in their civilian life.”
According to the VA, more than 250,000 veterans, and their beneficiaries, receive their benefits through a Direct Express pre-paid card or US Treasury-issued paper check, but do not utilize a bank or credit union for deposits and other transactions. Although veterans may receive their monetary benefits through any bank or credit union that accepts direct deposits, the VBBP partnership seeks to promote the benefits of opening an account and exploring what other financial products and benefits might be available to them, such as VA mortgage loans, SBA loans or youth accounts for their children.
Arizona is home to nearly 500,000 veterans with more than 250,000 residing in Maricopa County alone. To assist this population, Arizona Federal offers a full menu of financial services, including VA mortgage loans and small business loan services for veteran entrepreneurs.
“The VBBP is a great program that is strengthened with the addition of defense credit unions. Our members understand the military lifecycle and are already doing this important work every day in their communities,” says Anthony Hernandez, president and CEO, Defense Credit Union Council. “Being a part of the VBBP helps put a spotlight on the quality products and services they already offer and we thank Arizona Federal and the other credit unions who have stepped up to join this program and look forward to many more joining soon.”
Arizona Federal is a $1.9 billion not-for-profit, local cooperative providing financial services and expertise to more than 130,000 member/owners. Founded in 1936, the credit union empowers members to take hold of their financial future through the delivery of leading-edge self-service tools and mobile apps, competitive rates on loans and deposits, robust home loan solutions, small business services and commercial loans, identity protection services, and annual member payouts when the cooperative does well. Arizona Federal has a history of local community involvement and is the sponsor of the LiveNation Theatre venue and exclusive credit union partner of the Phoenix Rising FC. The credit union has 16 locations across the Phoenix metropolitan area. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration. For more information: ArizonaFederal.org