HTM Credit Union Treasurer and CEO Diane Bevilacqua and Customer Service Representative Cynthia Graham. (WHAV News photograph.)
Driving by City Hall along Main Street, residents may have seen the sign for HTM Credit Union and mistakenly concluded the financial institution is just for City Hall workers.
Not so, says Treasurer and CEO Diane Bevilacqua. Anyone with a Haverhill Public Library card may be on the road to membership in the $20 million credit union. That’s one of the surprises Bevilacqua reveals in discussing the institution’s 80th birthday.
“I think most people thought we were a really closed shop and we were a closed shop. I mean we’re not a community credit union,” she said.
In fact, three years ago, the state gave HTM permission to extend membership to Friends of the Haverhill Public Library. She said it has become a benefit for residents as well as the fundraising arm of the library.
“So, if you come in an open up an account with your library card, we send a donation.”
Bevilacqua explains the credit union pays for the first year of membership to the Friends, which has helped grow the library-related organization’s membership.
Bevilacqua knows her history well—going to work for the credit union 25 years ago and, before that, working as a City Hall employee since 1973.
HTM is an outgrowth of the Haverhill Teachers Credit Union and the Haverhill Municipal Credit Union, which merged in 2008. Of 2,800 members, there are still residents who can trace their memberships back to the Teachers Credit Union founding in 1937.
Asked what would surprise people the most about the credit union, she laughs and quickly answers.
“Having somebody know your name. It’s nice to be able to be part of something that’s warm and not cold.”
Besides teachers, city workers, court house employees and library card holders and their immediate family members, those employees associated with healthcare organizations may join, as Customer Service Representative Cynthia Graham explains. “The people maybe don’t remember that Hannah Duston, Penacook Place, Pentucket Medical, Women’s Healthcare. These are all part of our field of membership. Seacoast Orthopedic Associates. Like all of those people.”
On its 80th anniversary, HTM offers traditional banking services ranging from car loans to home mortgages and checking and savings accounts to credit cards. Members have access to online banking and a banking app for smartphones isn’t too far off.
In time for the winter heating season, HTM is also offering 0 percent heat loans in association with MassSave.
Graham, who has worked for the credit union for eight years and well known for her work with the Haverhill Firefighting Museum, notes HTM is also committed to community service. It has sponsored Team Haverhill’s River Ruckus, the Money Matters program at Haverhill High School, the Haverhill Public Library’s Third Annual Fall Fundraiser, a Consentino School essay contest and pizza party called “Save, Spend Share and Learn: What Could You Teach and Adult?” and many other causes.