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New credit union plans June opening in Midtown Harrisburg

By June, Harrisburg may once again be home to a financial institution.

A new credit union — Tenants and Landlords Community Federal Credit Union — is in the process of raising capital with plans to open this summer in Midtown Harrisburg.

It would be the only financial institution based in the capital city. The last, Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union, or PSECU, moved from Harrisburg to a new headquarters in Susquehanna Township in 2014.

“I think the timing is just really good,” said Robert Pauletta Jr., who will serve as the credit union’s senior loan officer and manager. “Financial institutions aren’t headquartered in Harrisburg anymore and all the small local banks have been bought out.”

Pauletta, who has been in the financial industry for about 25 years, having last worked at the Mid-Atlantic Corporate Federal Credit Union, said Harrisburg seems to be making a turnaround after years of financial difficulties that pushed the city to the brink of bankruptcy.

The credit union will cater to the city’s low-income population, but anyone that lives, works or worships in Harrisburg will be eligible to join, he said.

It will provide small personal loans — initially $500 to $5,000 — as well as vehicle, residential mortgage loans and commercial loans.

The commercial loans will be for working capital and equipment to support small businesses, while other loans will focus on supporting landlords who want to improve investment properties.

The goal is to improve the city’s housing stock and make older and neglected areas more vibrant, Pauletta said.

Tenants and Landlords Community Federal Credit Union will be based on the first floor of the COBA Apartments building at 1224 N. Third St., a property owned by developer Dan Deitchman of Brickbox Enterprises Ltd. 

Deitchman will serve as chairman of the credit union’s board.

The nine-member board has raised about $70,000 to get the credit union off the ground, Pauletta said. Most of that capital has come from the board members.

One fundraiser has been held so far, with plans for a second in April, Pauletta said. The goal is raise “somewhere north of $100,000” before opening.

According to Pauletta, Tenants and Landlords will be a “cashless credit union,” meaning funds will not be disbursed by a traditional teller.

Members will be able make deposits and loan payments in cash, but the cash will be deposited nightly by the credit union, he said. “We don’t carry cash overnight at our location.”

Withdrawals will be handled through the credit union’s ATM on North Third Street. Online and mobile account access also will be available.

Fit-out of the 600-square-foot Midtown space is expected to occur this spring. The new credit union also needs charter approval from the National Credit Union Administration.

The Greater Harrisburg Community Credit Union, a credit union with a similar mission to serve city residents who were having trouble getting access to traditional financial services, was declared insolvent and shut down in 2006.

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