Bethex Federal Credit Union was organized in 1970 by Joy Cousminer, currently the President and
CEO, together with the “welfare mothers” who comprised her Adult Basic Education Class. It was in
response to the women rushing off to the pawnshop or the loan shark to solve their cash
emergencies. Now Bethex is a respected financial institution with just $16,000,000 and serves over
9,000 members. Its lending pool is enlarged by low- to no-interest non-member deposits from banks
and foundations. A wide range of financial services is available to the members from three full
service branches – the Main Branch at Mt. Hope, the Mott Haven Branch in the Bronx Empowerment
Zone, and the newest one is the CSAE Brach in Manhattan.
These services range from share
(savings) accounts; share draft (checking) accounts; children’s accounts; holiday accounts; Direct
Deposit; ATM cards; VISA cards; personal, car, business and mortgage loans; student loans; IRAs;
and most recently online banking with bill pay. Bethex also offers credit and budget counseling as
well as homebuyer counseling. During tax season the credit union is a VITA site, offering free tax
preparation, helping members receive the EITC they are entitled to.