Lending Leaders
The Credit Union Movement

LodeStar’s own Jim Paolino chats with ACUMA President, Peter Benjamin, CMB, about the credit union movement, the American dream of homeownership, and the importance of community engagement.

ACUMA’s Collaborative Spirit

Peter Benjamin was a member of ACUMA, working at a credit union, before he was president. 3 months after leaving a community bank to work for a credit union, he went to an ACUMA conference. At the conference, there was a breakout session where attendees were allowed to openly discuss issues the moderator presented. Peter was blown away by the collaborative spirit. Everyone was so willing to share their emails, their plans, their experiences, and their knowledge. Nothing was held back, and that inspired Peter.


Credit Unions are built for tough markets. They have a devout membership that stays with them beyond any one loan or transaction. Sometimes it can be difficult for credit unions to grow or expand their market, but nothing beats loyalty when it comes to getting through market downturns.

Competitors vs Collaborators

Even with geographic or demographic overlap, credit unions don’t view each other primarily as competitors. Once while working for a credit union in DC, Peter contacted a competitor credit union to pick their Head of Mortgage’s bridge loan program. She sat down with him and showed him her playbook. She was happy to share, and that’s the kind of collaboration that really sets credit unions apart.


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