With the holidays upon us, it’s time to not only think about food, fun and festivities, but finances, as well. And thanks to credit unions like GTE Financial, consumers have access to top-notch savings products, credit cards, financial information and more. The Tampa, Florida-based company has been putting personal prosperity over corporate profits since 1935.
Their mission is to lend, support and help individuals and businesses in their community reach their financial dreams and be the preferred financial services provider in their marketplace. According to Assistant Vice President of Consumer Lending, Christel Ventura, “The premise on how we started is the same today – we’re local people helping local people.”
A History of Success
The credit union has been around for over 80 years and now has over 250,000 members. It changed its name from GTE Federal Credit Union to GTE Financial in 2012.
Ventura said that while GTE is a credit union, it offers full-service investment services in addition to traditional banking products. “One of the things that separates us from our local competition is that we have great people and we’re not afraid to ask why, we’re not afraid to push the boundaries and we’re not afraid to try something new.”
Perks of GTE Financial
Being a member of GTE Financial will give you a wealth of financial opportunities, right at your fingertips. The credit union offers the traditional savings and checking accounts for both consumer and business use. But it also offers so much more. GTE Financial provides home mortgage loans, auto loans, retirement accounts, construction loans, student loans, credit cards and all sorts of additional financial services. In addition, you can participate in the credit union’s many programs. These include the 52-week challenge where you start with a buck and double it every week, credit cards that provide cash back and GTE’s Future Change app. With Future Change, rounding up is what it’s all about. Each time you swipe your debit card, the extra change will round up to the nearest dollar amount and head straight into an exclusive savings account. As a GTE Financial member, you also have access to financial literacy programs, contests, giveaways and appreciation events. “Our roots are helping to become the preferred financial service institution for local communities and employees,” stated Ventura.
Giving Back to the Tampa Bay Area
GTE Financial partners with local charities to help raise money for specific causes or for those in need. “We want to be a partner for both our employees and our local community and whether it’s giving back via us helping people with kind of a hand up – we’re a low income designed credit union, which means we have a lot of programs to help people reestablish credit, get back on track, etc. Wheels of Success is one of the programs. We donate cars and have a loan program where folks aren’t charged interest. Helping is a big part of our company culture.”
GTE Financial also has a GTE Foundation. The GTE Financial Charitable Foundation has been in existence since 2003 and has helped provide financial support to non-profits, community organizations and members of the community. Ventura said in the past 5 years alone, $420,000 has been raised and donated to local students as part of their scholarship program. After attending the various ceremonies where the gifts are donated, Ventura humbly noted, “I always come away with the feeling like I need to do more. What these students do are incredible.”
What the Future Holds
While GTE Financial has had a successful past, it’s also looking to the future, striving to continue to be at the forefront of the latest changes in financial services and banking. Ventura concluded, “Our folks genuinely care and always try to help. We’re here to listen and we want to understand what’s going on if something happened and what we can do to get past it or help someone get back on their feet. My staff out in our financial centers fight for the members and for what’s right.” GTE Financial has many Community Financial Centers throughout the Tampa Bay area and also has a comprehensive website and a suite of mobile apps for convenient use. Give it a try and visit www.gtefinancial.org today.