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Customers may walk into new credit union

UT Federal Credit Union opened their doors Jan. 28 in suite 104 at Renaissance/ Farragut.

In this current venue, they serve walk up traffic only, but general manager Leah Ezelle stresses that they offer all the amenities but a drive-thru.

“We’re going to target a lot of the small businesses, and businesses can’t use your drive thru anyway. But we do want the consumer business too,” Ezelle said.

According to Ezelle, the credit union can open all consumer checking, savings, certificates, IRAs and consumer loans as well as business checking, savings, credit cards, money market and business loans.

The Renaissance location can actually close home equities and mortgages in house because those are processed through the credit union.

“I was a banker from years ago and I am so impressed with the credit union. I never realized how easy they could make things over how difficult the banks make processing things. It’s just a lot easier for the customer, a lot cheaper for the customer,” Ezelle said.

“Our checking accounts are free. Most banks charge for checking. And of course we pay dividends on just about everything and we have really good interest rates,” she added.

“We approve our credit cards on site. Most of the banks, as far as I know, have to send those off for approval. I thought it was a real advantage.”

“We have accounts where you can get free traveler’s checks, free cashier’s checks and money orders. But what we pride ourselves on is our customer service, and that you are actually a member of the credit union; you’re not a customer,” Ezelle said.

“Everyone that comes in to join the credit union pays $5 and opens a savings account. And then you share in the profits of the credit union; it’s really an interesting way of doing things,” she added.

All members of the credit union get a share of the dividends each quarter; that share is then put into each customer’s savings account.

UT Federal Credit Union was established by a group of University of Tennessee professors in 1969.

“Until just recently, you had to be associated with the university in some way or you had to be a family member, so you were really limited as to who you could market to,” Ezelle said. “But as of January, we have a community charter, so if you live, work, bank and do business in this five-county area of Knoxville, you are eligible to be a member,” she added.

This five-county area includes Knox, Blount, Loudon, Union and Anderson counties.

The Renaissance/Farragut location plans its grand opening for Feb. 29. For more information, call 865-971-1971 or visit


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