VyStar Credit Union  knows money matters. It’s committed to helping members achieve financial goals. Its members enjoy access to amazing perks, such as low or no fees, early direct deposit, great rates, and rewards on credit cards.

There are concrete benefits to joining a credit union instead of a traditional bank. VyStar , which is based in Jacksonville, Florida, operates to promote the well-being of its 900,000 members nationwide. Joel Swanson, chief member experience officer, strives to ensure the credit union’s members are supported and assisted throughout their journey to achieve their financial goals.

“Our members are our community,” Swanson stated. “That’s why it’s all cyclical, from our members to our employees to our community and that focus. That’s why we boil it down to do good and bank better : because it’s all connected.”

The credit union offers a range of financial products that benefit members, whether setting up direct deposit, financing a vehicle, or buying their first home. VyStar provides financial education to members and nonmembers. It’s committed to being a force for change to enhance the lives of its members and the communities it serves.

Members can enjoy perks, such as no payments for 90 days on auto loans, the possibility of 100% financing on business vehicles and auto loans, and a 0.25% rate discount on a mortgage or up to $5,000 to help with closing costs.

Members also have access to an assortment of local attractions and experiences, including events at Florida State University, games at the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp  minor league baseball stadium, and discounts or freebies at the Museum of Science & History, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens — which has over 2,000 animals and 1,000 species plants on 122 acres — and the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens.

Swanson said, “Everyone knows that [the credit union] is all about doing good in the communities  we serve. That includes everything in that community, whether arts, culture, or musical entertainment.”

The financial institution bolsters those beliefs by assisting nonprofit organizations in the community while furnishing financial products and services to help members reach their economic goals.

VyStar Is a Trusted Financial Institution

Brian Wolfburg , a native of Buffalo, New York, has been the credit union’s CEO since Oct. 31, 2017. He’s been instrumental in the financial institution’s expansion into Georgia. It has over 2,000 employees and in excess of $13 billion in assets.

VyStar has experienced immense growth since being founded by 12 members in 1952 as the Jax Navy Federal Credit Union at Naval Air Station. The financial institution’s objective was to serve the economic needs of active military service members, veterans, civil service employees, and their family members. In 2002, it changed its name to VyStar and continued to assist military members, past and present, with their financial goals.

Planned mergers partially propel it, and that growth allows the financial institution to keep fees and interest changes lower while increasing the interest earned. The credit union also has the resources and capabilities of banks combined with the innovative spirit of modern fintech.

VyStar makes it easy for those wondering how much money they need to save to retire or afford college tuition. Members can access the credit union’s financial calculators  to assist them in determining the best options for savings, debt consolidation, mortgages, and retirement. They can also enroll in VyStar University, a series of online courses one can take at their own pace to learn more about a wide range of financial issues such as saving, earning, and borrowing.

A member who has been with the credit union for over 10 years stated, “I am always very pleased with their customer service , and they are always able to answer all of my questions. I have a checking and savings account through them, as well as a savings account for my son. My rate is excellent!”

Community Development

Each year the credit union donates millions of dollars to hundreds of nonprofit organizations to support the communities it serves. It’s a huge proponent of fostering children’s talents. The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus, founded in 1995, has a new 6,411-square-foot practice hall and office located in a space in VyStar’s parking garage . The downtown Jacksonville parking garage opened on April 4, 2023. It has 759 parking spaces and retail space. Plus, it’s an ideal place for the musical youths to gather and practice for a European summer tour to London and Canterbury, England.

“[The credit union] has made an incredible investment in the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus, recognizing that singing is at the heart of Jacksonville,” stated Darren Dailey, chorus president.

Dailey continued, “It’s a community activity that so many participate in, and the new building essentially is not only the headquarters of the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus, it’s a community arts space.”

The ground floor retail space is spacious enough for the young singers to show off their talents. In addition to the choral room, it has a study area for students, a place for live performances, and includes a practice hall that can accommodate approximately 130 people.

“The space is a dream come true for the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus children,” Dailey said. “VyStar believes in the children’s chorus and has made a major investment to change the lives of the children in our community.”

In addition to the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus, two nonprofits — OneJax and Level the Playing Field Leadership Academy — are set to call the street-level space home. “The partnership with them and this office will allow us to have more meetings with our boys and us to have more interaction with them which will allow us to give more to them,” stated Lonnie Marts, chief executive officer at Level the Playing Field Leadership Academy.

It will also feature the Pour Taproom, a self-serve establishment. “It’s a really exciting day for the team [and I’m] thankful for everyone at VyStar that made this a reality,” said Wolfburg.

“Our commitment to downtown Jacksonville goes further than just doing a standard parking garage. We wanted to make sure it was an investment in the community,” he stated. “That includes the design of the space, the art on the exterior of the building and the organizations, the retail, the nonprofits that we’re bringing in to activate downtown Jacksonville.”

These are just some of the ways that the credit union is helping members reach their financial goals.

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