Making Dreams Come True

By Mark Yamane
Wednesday - January 18, 2006
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HPFC Group (from left):Iris Tamura, Ui Keliikaa, Mark Yamane, Ed Tanaka and Kelly Souza
HPFC Group (from left):Iris Tamura, Ui Keliikaa, Mark
Yamane, Ed Tanaka and Kelly Souza

Home ownership, a college degree, retirement - these pillars of the American dream are moving beyond the reach of the average person today. For those of us who live in Hawaii, the price of paradise presents challenges that cause our Mainland neighbors to wonder how we can even dream such dreams.

While there are lots of people in Hawaii who work hard to reach financial stability and the life goals they have set, many just don’t have the tools or the training to know how to effectively manage their finances. Studies continue to show that most people, whether young or old, lack an understanding of basic financial concepts and do not adequately prepare for the future.

Yet the concepts of financial management are within the grasp of almost everyone. They are wrapped up in a few basic truths to live by: Live within your means. Save. Keep track of what you have. Own your home. Never borrow needlessly. If you borrow, pay it back - on time.

Sounds simple, but learning and then applying these lessons can be tough without help. Credit unions have been helping people help themselves for a long time. Nearly 60 percent of Hawaii’s people are members of credit unions, and many have joined because of the personal level of financial guidance and support credit unions offer. It’s been said that the most important service of the credit union is the education of its members in the management and control of their own money.

Credit unions are groups of people uniting and pooling their money in order to provide each other with access to credit and other financial services that they might not be able to obtain elsewhere. Credit unions are people helping people take care of their money so that dreams come true.

At Hawaii Pacific Federal Credit Union, we’re celebrating 65 years of helping members manage their money and reach their dreams. With a membership of about 8,000 people, we’re large enough to help members buy a home or start a business, yet small enough to develop personal relationships with members and their families, which is at the heart of what we do.

Back in 1941 when we were founded, helping someone financially meant a simple savings account and an occasional term loan. Not anymore.

Today, we help members manage their time while they manage their money. We provide our members with convenient payment tools that range from debit cards and credit cards to making payments over the Internet. Saving has turned into investing with the help of a financial professional. And the occasional loan may be approved online within just a few seconds or funded from an existing line of credit.

Technology has changed the way people bank. Yet, those basic truths mentioned earlier, combined with a mission to help people, are what Hawaii Pacific Federal and the many other credit unions in this state are all about.

People will always have dreams. And credit unions will be here to help Hawaii’s people make their dreams come true.

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