TDECU president shares thoughts on lending, housing market
By the numbers
• 26,000 members in Victoria
• 43,000 members in the Crossroads
• 3 Victoria locations
• 69 employees in Victoria
• 6 other locations in the Crossroads
• 140 employees in the Crossroads
Source: Stephanie Sherrodd, CEO and president of TDECU
Buying a home can be easy as long as buyers have the knowledge and help to do it.
Texas Dow Employees Credit Union president and CEO Stephanie Sherrodd visited Victoria for a member appreciation event Tuesday at the Victoria Community Center.
Sherrodd started with TDECU 10 years ago as the vice president of retail the same day the company announced it was merging with Texas Crossroads Federal Credit Union. She's filled various positions and became CEO and president in 2012.
"I have a history with the Victoria area and working with those members since the day that I started working with the credit union. I've been a part of the organization and a part of the overall TDECU," Sherrodd said.
She took a moment before the event to talk about the credit union.
There's a lot of activity in the area because of the Eagle Ford Shale and industrial growth, do you see the company growing in the same direction as that activity?
Our goal is to serve 1 million members, and we consider ourselves a really great partner with the citizens of Texas. We want to provide them with great service no matter where they are. We look for opportunities wherever our members are and where people should be members but just don't know about us yet. We really see that to be our greatest opportunity, but certainly growth is a big part of who we are.
Real estate agents have said it's easier to buy a home now in comparison to what it was like about a decade or more ago. Is that true?
For us, getting people into homes is a big part of our mission. Often times buying a home is the largest purchase an individual or a family will make in their lifetime. We take it really seriously about making sure they understand the process and feel educated and that they have the ability and resources to really make the right decision.
Rates are at historic lows, so in terms of afford, it's a great time to own a home. Making mortgage loans has always been a significant part of our organization and a big part of our focus to get people into homes.
What are the biggest challenges TDECU faces in the future with lending practices and the current housing market?
There's a great opportunity now for people who are looking for opportunity to own a home because of the rate environment. There's no better time to buy a home than now. Especially for those who have been renting.
Many individuals think they can't afford it or that because they've had some credit problems in the past that perhaps they're not eligible for home loans. It's important that they come and talk to a mortgage professional to really understand the situation. Those aren't necessarily road blocks. We can look at each individual's situation and look at their character - not only their credit score - to make that lending decision.
Do you think people have more faith in credit unions versus traditional banking institutions?
The fact that we have a strong membership in the Victoria area and that our members in Victoria voted us best financial institution and best mortgage company have really spoken that they value the services that they offer and the way that we offer them.
We really exist for them - that is our whole mission. We serve the community and its members and improve their lives.