The numbers are in, and Greylock Federal Credit Union has plenty of reason to celebrate — but the real work is just beginning.
Each year, The Warren Group, a real estate and financial data company and publisher of the weekly financial newspaper Banker & Tradesman, compiles real estate transaction data from across Massachusetts to rank the state’s most prolific lenders. This time around, Greylock Federal Credit Union ranked first for single-family purchase loans issued by a credit union by number, as well as making the top ten in seven additional categories.
Mortgage lending as a whole has actually seen a significant decline from 2021 to 2022, according to The Warren Group’s data. Lenders issued approximately 56,400 single-family purchase loans in 2022, a drop of 16.7% from the previous year. At Greylock, lending services continue to expand and evolve.
Last year, the credit union’s share of the single-family lending market in Berkshire County rose 9 percentage points, to a full 25%. Much of the growth comes from reaching out to a wider customer base — especially to those communities that have traditionally been underserved by financial institutions.
As one of two Massachusetts credit unions to bear the “community development financial institution” designation, Greylock is eligible for grants to build its financial literacy and consumer education programs, giving a wider spectrum of the population the tools and knowledge necessary to take on the often intimidating process of home buying.
Coaching sessions through Greylock’s Community Empowerment Center were up 30% in 2022, as the company added new positions aimed at strengthening relationships with historically underserved populations in the Berkshires, including a community lender, a Black and African American outreach coach and a designated lender for southern Berkshire County.
“We really want to meet the Members where they are on their homebuying journey,” senior vice president and chief lending officer Jodi Rathbun-Briggs told Banker & Tradesman this March. That means not only actively establishing a presence in minority communities, but building new products specifically tailored to address financial inequities that have compounded over generations.
For example, Greylock offers a mortgage option with no minimum credit score, no down payment, and no mortgage insurance requirement — factors that often bar economically disadvantaged communities from homeownership and the generational wealth it can generate. Through community partnerships like the Westside Legends, Inc., a Pittsfield-based community improvement non-profit, Greylock issued 55 mortgages to Black families in 2022, making up 15% of all single family loans issued by the credit union.
In addition, Greylock worked extensively with the immigrant community in Berkshire County, helping 435 people obtain an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) and offering a special ITIN-based mortgage.
But the work’s not done yet. With expanded services for immigrants, new banking technology and an ongoing dialogue with underserved communities, Greylock Federal Credit Union will continue to rethink the process of homebuying through 2023 and beyond.