Five Star Credit Union Joins Next Step Network

Credit union serving Alabama and Georgia to participate in the organization’s SmartMH program


Contact: Grant Beck, Marketing and Communications Manager
Phone: (202) 851-7550

LOUISVILLE, KY – November 6, 2019 – Today, Next Step Network is pleased to announce that Five Star Credit Union, a not-for-profit financial institution serving 46,000 members in 18 counties across Alabama and Georgia, has joined Next Step’s efforts to promote the use of affordable, energy-efficient factory-built homes to increase homeownership opportunities.

“We welcome Five Star Credit Union’s expertise in financial services as a valued new participant in our SmartMH program,” said Stacey Epperson, president and founder of Next Step Network. “Their cooperative model will allow for us to serve new and existing members, creating more affordable homeownership opportunities in Alabama and Georgia.”

Five Star Credit Union was established in 1964. Five Star offers its members an extensive menu of financial services for personal and business use, including free checking, savings, loans, and credit cards. In addition, Five Star offers a full range of free digital services, including online and mobile banking, bill pay and more. Five Star also offers an online financial literacy program geared toward educating adults. The educational offerings are designed to help members make better financial decisions, and include topics such as: budgeting, how to purchase a home, how to raise your credit score, and many more.  

“At Five Star, we work with our members to help them get into a home that fits their needs and their budget,” said John Wallin, director of manufactured home lending at Five Star Credit Union. “Purchasing a new home is one of the major events in a person’s life. We work with each member individually to find the financing that works for them so the process goes smoothly. We want that new home purchase to be special.”   

Next Step members are a part of a national network of individuals, business and organizations that believe that manufactured housing is a viable, affordable, environmentally responsible solution to help solve America’s affordable housing crisis. Our members benefit from Next Step’s work to transform the manufactured housing industry. Network members are dedicated to: delivering education, removing barriers to housing, changing the image of manufactured housing, and advancing policy changes around manufactured housing finance and Duty to Serve that better benefit home buyers and communities.

Next Step’s SmartMH program connects educated homebuyers with financial institutions and manufactured home retailers to increase access to affordable, ENERGY STAR® manufactured homes with fair financing. Freddie Mac has partnered with Next Step to expand the program, while improving access to credit for prepared, manufactured homebuyers.


About Next Step® Network, Inc.
Next Step® Network, Inc. is a national, nonprofit housing intermediary that works to promote expanded use of factory-built housing as a viable solution to address housing affordability. Our organization mobilizes a national network of mission-driven nonprofits, leaders in the manufactured housing industry and lending institutions serving home buyers and homeowners in their communities. Next Step’s system – Manufactured Housing Done Right® – connects responsible financing, comprehensive homebuyer education and delivery of high-quality, ENERGY STAR® manufactured homes at scale, creating a model that brings more value to the homeowners and communities. Learn more at

About Five Star Credit Union
Established in 1964, Five Star Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit, full-service financial institution headquartered in Dothan, AL. Five Star has 17 locations in Alabama and Georgia that provide free checking with interest, savings, free online and mobile banking, and thousands of surcharge-free ATMs. Additionally, members have access to full range of consumer and business loan products. Five Star serves a growing membership of more than 46,000 members.

Membership is open to those who live, work, worship or attend school in eight counties in southeast Alabama and to those who live and work in 10 counties in southern Georgia. Learn more at Five Star’s website.