In a Nutshell: Most military veterans don’t return home to the parades and fanfare that welcomed past decorated heroes, and some even struggle to find employment once they’re back on US soil. HomeStreet Bank understands and appreciates the value and discipline trained military members bring to its company, which is why the institution provides veterans with extensive hiring opportunities. In addition to its hiring practices, HomeStreet also offers veterans an array of financial products, including VA-backed home loans and refinancing options as well as small business loans for veterans and their spouses. These practices and products are why we’ve named HomeStreet our Editor’s Choice for veterans.
Military veterans once received a hero’s welcome with cities and towns across America throwing parades in honor of returning soldiers.
Those traditions aren’t as common today as many veterans return from the battlefield to little fanfare and, in many cases, a job market that doesn’t seem to appreciate their service or abilities.
Some employers want to reverse that sentiment. Many institutions in the financial industry, including HomeStreet Bank, understand and appreciate the value and discipline former military personnel bring to their companies. As one of the fastest growing banks in the US, HomeStreet relies heavily on its strategy of supporting veterans as both employees and customers.
“We strongly encourage veterans to work at HomeStreet Bank — they bring leadership and the highest levels of professionalism,” said a HomeStreet representative. “HomeStreet makes a concerted effort to hire veterans by posting open positions on Military.com and attending a number of job fairs for veterans every year.”
Founded in 1921, HomeStreet Bank offers consumer and commercial banking, as well as several financing, investment, and insurance products and services at its branches on the West Coast and in Hawaii.
HomeStreet’s more than 2,400 full-time employees work to serve a growing customer base from the company’s 111 deposit branches. And, with nearly $7 billion in assets, HomeStreet was named one of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Fastest Growing Companies in 2017.
HomeStreet Extends Special Banking Products to Vets
After World War II, Government legislation, such as the Federal Housing Administration and Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, helped fuel the housing industry. All across America, the government built homes to accommodate soldiers returning from battle and their families.
Millions of these homes still stand today, more than 70 years after the war ended — and many of today’s returning soldiers can’t even get a loan to purchase one.
HomeStreet’s commitment to veterans extends beyond its hiring practices and to the services offered to them at every one of the institution’s branch offices. The bank maintains a thriving VA home loan program as well as a VA Streamline Refinance option that allows veterans to refinance their current home mortgage — without a new appraisal or income verification — to obtain better interest rates.
“We’re strong proponents of our government-backed VA home loans, which help service members, veterans, and eligible spouses become homeowners,” said a HomeStreet representative. “The program is available to nearly every veteran or active duty member of the military, provided they meet certain qualifications, such as time served and conditions of their discharge.”
Small Business Loans
In addition to home loans, HomeStreet offers programs designed to help veterans and their families acquire affordable personal or business loans.
“We offer a small business loan program for veterans and their spouses,” HomeStreet said. “The Small Business Administration (SBA) pays 50% of associated fees for SBA Veterans Advantage program borrowers and their spouses, and HomeStreet often covers the other half for our customers.”
Many veterans and their spouses find the savings significant. Funds can help start, buy, or expand a business, providing the capital for equipment, buildings, inventory, and other purposes.
To qualify for SBA guarantee loans, a business must be at least 51% owned by a veteran, an active-duty military service member participating in the military’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP), a reservist or National Guard member, their current spouse, or the spouse of a service member who has died while in service.
Fostering an Environment for Employees to Grow and Thrive
HomeStreet strives to provide its thousands of employees, including those who are veterans, with an environment that offers the opportunity to grow in their careers and achieve their personal goals.
“We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to employee development,” HomeStreet said. “We continually aim to build and maintain a successful team of talented people who feel challenged to do their best every day. We hire for potential, support personal development, and whenever possible, promote from within.”
Aside from offering the potential for vertical growth within the company, HomeStreet also maintains a compensation package that attracts many new and long-term financial services workers with competitive salaries, benefits, incentives, and opportunities to give back to the community.
Whether a prospective employee is just beginning a civilian career in financial services or has years of experience, HomeStreet said it offers a wide range of job opportunities. By posting employment opportunities to several online job boards and promoting available positions at hiring expos throughout its footprint, HomeStreet has recruited a talented staff that has primed it for further growth.
“As a rapidly expanding company, HomeStreet offers many opportunities to learn and grow,” HomeStreet said. “Whether your interest lies in the banking or lending aspects of our business, if you have a desire to learn, are enthusiastic, perform quality work, and have a passion for customer service, you will thrive in our fast-paced and fun environment.”
Veterans Returning Home to the Welcome They Deserve
More than 250,000 military veterans return home each year, but that number doesn’t begin to touch on the hardships that many of these heroes will face. From creating a new daily routine to dealing with the repercussions of what they experienced overseas to finding new employment, veterans aren’t always afforded the services and help they need to transition back into civilian life.
HomeStreet decided long ago to use its platform to help returning veterans care for their families in the same way that they cared for their country. By providing employment opportunities and career training, as well as banking and loan products that help servicemembers and their families create a better life for themselves, the institution honors the country’s military in the best way it knows how.
At the same time, the employment opportunities give veterans a chance to leverage the discipline and valuable skills they’ve mastered in the service of their country, and apply them to better serve HomeStreet’s customers.