ANTIGO, Wis. — A record of over $3.3 million in patronage has been deposited in 2018 into the accounts of members who borrow and save with CoVantage Credit Union. This is 12 percent more than the credit union returned in 2017.

Patronage is a concept of “giving back” that originated among cooperatives many years ago. Most have abandoned the practice; but at CoVantage, patronage has been paid to member-owners for the past 38 years.

According to CoVantage Board Chairman Lee Siler, “Each year the board determines how much income should be set aside for regular dividends, operating expenses, and capital needed to ensure the credit union is prepared to withstand difficult economic times. Because CoVantage was fortunate to have had another successful year in 2018, for growth in loans, deposits and members – we are able to do this, and provide our largest patronage payment ever with the $3.3 million returned to member-owners. The board and I want to thank new and long-time members for the loyalty which helps make patronage possible. We are also thankful for all who made timely loan payments – as especially low delinquency was also a factor in this record return to members.”

This year’s patronage includes a bonus on dividends earned for those who save, and a loan interest rebate for those who borrow. CoVantage depositors received a 5.1 percent bonus on dividends earned on eligible savings, term share certificates and variable rate accounts. Borrowers received a rebate of 5.1 percent of their total 2018 interest paid on qualifying vehicle, home equity, in-house mortgage, credit card, and commercial loans. For instance, if $5,000 of interest had been paid on a home loan, the member would receive $255 in patronage for just that loan.

CoVantage President, Charlie Zanayed, added, “Part of the CoVantage mission is to provide outstanding value, which we deliver every day with great rates and low fees. In fact, through the end of September 2018, CoVantage was ranked 6th out of 5,500 credit unions nationally in providing great rates and low fees. This is the 12th year in a row we were honored to be in the top 1 percent of credit unions in providing member value as measured by Callahan, an independent credit union research company. It is a joy to be able to share the credit union’s success with our member-owners through record patronage and fantastic everyday value.”

Further information about the CoVantage patronage program can be found at www.covantagecu.org/patronage.

CoVantage Credit Union is a community-chartered credit union that serves members throughout Brown, Clark, Florence, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Portage, Price, Shawano, Taylor, Vilas, Waupaca and Wood counties in Wisconsin; as well as in Iron, Dickinson and Menominee Counties in Michigan. The financial cooperative is headquartered in Antigo, Wis., and has branch offices in Shawano, Wausau, Weston, Rib Mountain, Rothschild, Stevens Point, Rhinelander, Crandon, and Elcho in Wisconsin; along with Michigan offices in Iron River, Crystal Falls and Menominee.