2020 marked the 75th Anniversary of GSCU, and the credit union had plans to celebrate throughout the year. But with the onset of the worldwide pandemic, the credit union was faced with unprecedented challenges. A comprehensive business contingency plan, already in place, allowed GSCU to swiftly shift to a pandemic business-model. This ensured we could continue to keep branches open and serve our member’s financial needs.
The credit union has always assisted members in navigating financial difficulties, and this focus became even more important in 2020. The credit union implemented changes to programs to provide financial relief to hard-hit members. This included waiving fees and easing restrictions associated with our Skip-A-Pay Program allowing members to defer their monthly loan payments during the initial pandemic uncertainty. A Mortgage Assistance Program was also offered as we worked closely in helping members in need of financial support. As an SBA Lender, the credit union processed 112 Paycheck Protection Payment (PPP) loans in 2020 helping many of our business members. GSCU also recognized the need for food assistance for struggling families statewide. Corporate support was given to local and regional food pantries throughout NH.
Through it all, the credit union demonstrated impressive growth with member deposits increasing by more than $93 million. With travel limitations due to the pandemic, many members took advantage of GSCU’s low-rate “Anything that Moves” loan, and enjoyed a “staycation”. A notable increase in “toy” loans for boats, jet skis and RVs, was evident, but members also took advantage of our great rates in new and used autos. Over $14 million in unsecured loan originations also made a world of difference to members needing help with debt consolidation or unexpected bills.
With a dramatic increase in the amount of time spent at home, the year saw a large jump in home improvement projects. In a low-inventory real estate market, many members tapped their equity to renovate their existing homes to meet their needs. Whether an addition to accommodate the new work-at-home norm, or a vacation-worthy backyard pool, GSCU’s equity options helped make it happen. With interest rates at record lows, members opted to refinance their home mortgage or even make the jump to a new home in 2020. This was evident as credit union total outstanding loan balances increased by more than $34 million. Our staff were ready to help members realize their dreams and save them money with a variety of loan options!
In 2020, more than $3.5 million dollars was added to reserves resulting in a capital ratio of 8.06% with regulatory standards continuing to rank the credit union as “well capitalized”. GSCU ended the year with $531 million in assets, up nearly $98 million from 2019.
But the growth didn’t stop there. To better serve our Nashua-area members, we were excited to announce the purchase of land at 190 Broad Street, just off of Exit 6 in Nashua. With construction now well-underway, this location features expansive space, abundant on-site parking and more accessibility. We look forward to welcoming our Nashua area existing members as well as reaching out to new members this summer!
In September, we unveiled GSCU’s new brand and logo! The new brand essence “LIVEBOLDNH!” captures the credit union’s renewed focus on finding ways to meet member needs creatively. Branches have been updated with a fresh new look. Our lobbies may look a bit different, but rest assured our values remain the same. These are the same values that have served us so well these last 75 years. Integrity, Respect, Commitment, Innovation and Passion are still the guiding principles by which we operate, and in many ways, a testament to how GSCU overcame the obstacles presented in 2020. We look forward to welcoming members back to our branch lobbies in 2021 and hopefully returning to more “normal” operations.
Thank you for your continued support and membership.