During the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, many Americans have relied on loans to keep their personal and business finances healthy. However, a recent trend has developed, indicating that how Americans are seeking loans may be unique compared to how they did so in the past. Specifically, rather than seeking loans from traditional commercial banks, many are instead choosing to apply for loans with credit unions.
A credit union is typically a local financial institution whose services and products overlap substantially with that of a bank. However, most commercial banks are profit-making institutions beholden to shareholders. Credit unions, on the other hand, exist to serve a community’s needs instead of earning a profit.
Each member of a credit union has equal voting rights. Instead of following rules and adhering to standards dictated by executives who aren’t members of the community, credit union boards consist of volunteers elected by all members who wish to cast a vote.
These differences influence the customer experience in ways that have recently made credit unions more appealing to loan-seekers than banks may be. Perhaps more importantly, research indicates that particularly in times of crisis, credit unions are more inclined to approve loan applications. One recent study indicates that, while banks often become hesitant to approve loans during crises, during the Great Recession and pandemic, many credit unions not only continued to loan money to members, but actually increased their lending.
This may be a reflection of the basic nature of credit unions. They’re established to provide a necessary service, much like a fire department or local hospital. According to Jordan van Rijn, senior economist for the Credit Union National Association, “During periods of risk and uncertainty, banks tend to pull back a lot more on lending and just get a lot more conservative. But credit unions as part of their mission is just to continue to serve the members.”
It’s also worth noting that loan interest rates at credit unions tend to be lower than they are at banks. This is another reason many Americans may have opted to seek loans from credit unions in recent months. They don’t want to exacerbate their financial woes by taking out loans with prohibitively high interest rates.
Additionally, many have already found that credit unions offer similar benefits even when national crises aren’t occuring. For example, some who’ve been turned down by numerous banks for home mortgages find that credit unions are more willing to work with them to offer alternatives to traditional mortgages.
Credit unions don’t provide loans and mortgages more willingly than banks because they engage in predatory lending. On the contrary, their low interest rates on loans highlight how they exist to support their members. Often, members have greater luck receiving loans from credit unions than from major banks because the local quality of the service, combined with the fact that credit unions don’t have a responsibility to earn a profit, allow credit union decision-makers to make these particular decisions based on a more personal understanding of a member’s situation. At a bank, decision-makers are required to follow the same procedures from one branch to another.
Many speculate that credit unions will also continue to grow in popularity after the pandemic. The way they served their members during a time of crisis has generated significant loyalty that may last well into the future.
How Berite Labelle Is Translating Her International Modelling Career Into Acting Through Passion and Self-Care
Moldovan-born beauty Berite Labelle has shed her chrysalis to emerge as an actor and writer.
For several years, Berite has deconstructed, redefined, and developed her modeling skills into techniques fit for an A-list actor.
The path from the catwalk to the film set is a walk of fame mastered by Hollywood legends including Grace Kelly, Nicole Kidman, and Noémie Lenoir. Naomi Campbell successfully transitioned to the small screen as an actor and performed brilliant comedy roles spoofing herself with perfect timing and delivery. Former model and Emmy Award winner Tyra Banks turned to acting and hosted her eponymous chat show. She also birthed an industry from her modeling career and today has a net worth of $90million.
Berite’s passion for communication is at the core of her acting and writing ambitions. She aims for both movies and the stage.
Already established as a successful model in Europe, Berite’s vertical performance started in 2019 when she participated in the World Championship of Performing Arts competition in Long Beach, California. She entered the Spoken Model category and claimed first place. Propelled by her competitive success, she went on to study acting at the New York Film Academy on a partial scholarship. She also competed in dramatics and comic monologues performances in Los Angeles.
During her modeling career, she showcased luxury brands including La Perla and France’s Aubade lingerie house at The Four Seasons Hotel – Geneva, and luxury jeweler Faberge. She also walked the runway for Tiffany’s fashion week in Paris and represented hair giant Toni & Guy.
“At the same time as modeling, I joined a small theatrical company in Switzerland. I decided that it was my mission to become an actor. As well as working with the theatre company, I set about teaching myself English. Communication is key in acting, and the more languages you can communicate in, the better.”
Berite has acted in music videos and is working on a project where she serves two different roles of important historical women: the last Egyptian Ptolemaic queen Cleopatra and the Victorian English writer Mary Wollstonecraft. Berite is also writing scripts.
“I love communicating in different languages, as shown by competing in California. Today my overarching professional desire is about expression and interchange. I am inspired to communicate as an actor on a deep emotional level. To tell a story non-verbally,” says Berite.
“Acting demands a high level of emotional intelligence that is outward-facing and creative, but you also need to be able to run a business. As an entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of my entertainment company – Berite Labelle.”
It is hardly surprising that Berite pivoted toward acting. Adaptation and learning new cultures are hallmarks of her childhood. Born in the tiny former Soviet country of Moldova in Eastern Europe, Berite traveled the world with her Chadian father, who worked for the United Nations. Constant traveling meant new schools, cultures, and languages. Berite thrived until her father died when she was 14 years old. Her family decided to send the teenager to school in Paris, where she fell into bad company.
It took three years for the young woman to determine that she was the only person empowered to change her life. It was an epiphany that changed the course of her life, and she walked away from the shady side of teenage years. At 17 years old, Berite enrolled in a diploma course studying commerce to set a positive direction. As part of her education, she landed an internship with the exclusive Swiss watchmaker and jeweler -Bucherer est 1880. During this time, the young woman understood that her way forward was to become a model. She immersed herself in a sophisticated and creative life.
It was not the first time Berite considered modeling as a career. As a child, a colleague of her father predicted the little girl would become a model. The prophecy triggered Bertie’s lifelong love of fashion, and the little girl’s favorite entertainment was watching Fashion TV. She also took up ballet, which helped her modeling career bloom.
To this day, the entrepreneur continues to dance as both a way to express her creative energy, de-stress, and maintain her physical form. She has also performed in music videos.
Indeed, a successful modeling career requires strict discipline and self-care – two covenants are a must for a career as an actor.
“It is essential to stay in shape, so I still dance, and I also enjoy going hiking, and I practice yoga. Drinking plenty of water is great for your skin, and I have a routine for sleeping and looking after myself,” Berite explains.
“Selfcare is as much of a priority as self-love. When you develop your routine and perform it faithfully, you learn how to love yourself and properly care for yourself. Confidence is important in the world of entertainment. To take good care of others and to love them authentically, you must feel good about yourself. It helps if you never forget about your own needs and feelings,” she says.
Berite is a great believer in reading for pleasure as self-care; “reading scripts, books and work-related material counts as self-care.”
Given that Berite is often exploring another person’s character, working on mastering accents, or running her business, she likes to check out of her dynamic workspace through meditation. She has also discovered a rich vein of joy by continuing her education with online acting courses with Acting Center in Los Angeles.
The final thread of Berite’s self-care regime is twice weekly hair and face masks, which she believes are well-earned breaks from a fully engaged life.
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