We Help When Others Won't
At Heritage South, “We Help When Others Won’t” is not just another marketing slogan we came up with; it’s what our members tell us we do every day. We have story after story about how we’ve done that for other members. We hope you’ll be able to add to those stories as you experience the Heritage South difference! Our membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Bedford, Marshall, or Rutherford Counties.
As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, we are not in the business of making wall street investors or a board of directors rich. Instead, we are owned by our members. That means anyone who has an account at Heritage South is part-owner of the credit union! We work to enrich our members' financial well being every day by offering many of the same products that big banks offer without the big bank hassle. Want to know more about the history of Heritage South? Read on!
Meeting member needs for over 60 years.
For the first 49 years of its existence, Heritage South Community Credit Union operated as EPCO Credit Union. In 1957, Harold Hassenfeld, president of Empire Pencil Company, voiced his desire to have his employees form a savings and loan they could call their own. A handful of employees agreed and opened the credit union in February with 10-15 charter members and operations set up on the Empire premises.
The credit union's growth remained steady and Empire Pencil Company was its only member group for the next 35 years. In 1992, the decision was made to reach out to member groups outside the Empire family. The results were phenomenal as EPCO added over 200 member groups over the next 12 years. Mergers with the former Heil-Quaker credit union in 1994 and the credit union for Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation in 1997 also enhanced growth and provided EPCO a presence in both Lewisburg and Murfreesboro heading into the new millennium.
Winds of change began to blow again early in 2006 as EPCO was granted a community charter, opening the availability of membership to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Bedford, Marshall, or Rutherford counties. Credit union management and the board of directors also decided at that time to officially change the name to reflect the more diverse nature of our membership. On February 17, 2006, the credit union opened its doors for the first time as Heritage South Community Credit Union, vowing to continue the good old-fashioned southern service its members had come to expect the previous 49 years.
The Difference Between Credit Unions and Banks
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives who exist to serve their members, not to make a profit. Each credit union member is an equal owner with one equal vote. Unlike banks, credit unions do not issue stock or pay dividends to outside stockholders. Instead, earnings are returned to our members in the form of lower loan rates, higher interest on deposits, and lower fees. Our credit union is governed by a board of directors, elected by and from the credit union’s membership. Board members serve voluntarily without pay or exclusive benefits.
Credit Unions Pay Taxes
You may have heard that credit unions are not taxpayers. That’s not true. Credit unions do pay taxes – payroll taxes, real estate taxes, and some property taxes. Congress exempts credit unions from federal income taxes. The exemption was established in 1937, affirmed by statute in 1951, and re-affirmed in 1998 in HR 1151, the Credit Union Membership Access Act, which states: “Credit unions, unlike other participants in the financial services market, are exempt from Federal and most State taxes because credit unions are member-owned, democratically operated, not-for-profit organizations generally managed by volunteer boards of directors and because they have the specified mission of meeting the credit and savings needs of consumers, especially persons of modest means.”