When retired USW member and Army veteran Jim Blank discovered Union Plus recently, he was pleasantly surprised to learn he could still benefit from its programs. He received a $1,000 Veteran’s Grant when he purchased a house for his daughter through the Union Plus Mortgage Program.
Retired United Steelworkers (USW) District 2 member Jim Blank served in the U.S. Army from 1961 to 1964, and was based in Frankfurt, Germany.
“It was a good responsibility,” recalls Blank, who lives in his hometown of Munising, Michigan, a small town in the state’s Upper Peninsula. “It was satisfying serving my country.”
Upon honorable discharge, Blank moved to Lansing, Michigan to work on the assembly line at a motor wheel factory. However, Blank soon wanted to move back home, so he took a position with the Kimberly-Clark paper mill in Munising.
“It was a great job over the years,” says Blank. “We had great benefits. The USW did a great job for us. After 30 years, I decided to retire.”
Blank didn’t learn about Union Plus until his daughter asked for his help in getting a mortgage: she wanted to use his USW membership to apply for a Union Plus Mortgage through Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
“The representative at Wells Fargo saw that I was a retired union member and a veteran and suggested that I apply for the Union Plus Mortgage Veteran’s Grant1.,” remembers Blank. “Sure enough, I got a check in the mail.”
If you have served in the military and are an active or retired member of a union and you have financed your primary residence through the Union Plus Mortgage Program, you may qualify for the Veteran’s Grant. It provides a one-time grant of up to $1,000 to offset the cost of the home.
“I can’t believe I learned about Union Plus so late,” says Blank. “If you’re a veteran, you should definitely look into the Veteran’s Grant.”
To learn more about the Union Plus Mortgage Program and the Veteran’s Grant, please visit unionplus.org/mortgage.
1.The Union Plus® Mortgage Assistance Program and Veteran’s Grant are provided and administered through the AFL-CIO Mutual Benefit Plan (“The Plan”), which is not affiliated with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Additional information about this program and eligibility criteria can be obtained at unionplus.org/assistance.
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