What is a Credit Union?

There are thousands of member-owned cooperative financial institutions in the U.S., known as Credit Unions.

A Credit Union is usually formed around a common bond, such as employment or geographic area of residence, and its purpose is to give member-owners a place to save and borrow at reasonable cost.

A Credit Union differs from a bank — a bank is privately owned by an individual, a family, or a group of investors or stockholders. The profits from a bank belong to the private owners, who are free to invest the profits back into the bank or take them for themselves. In the case of large banks, those profits usually leave our local area and do not benefit the local economy. A Credit Union is legally a “not-for-profit” — there is no private ownership. Our members are the owners, and all profits stay in the Credit Union, locally, to be used to benefit all the members. Click to read more about the differences between Credit Unions and banks.

Members put their money into a variety of savings and investment accounts. This money is loaned to members, who pay interest. After operating expenses and reserve requirements are met, the remaining income is returned to the members as dividends, lower costs, lower loan rates, reduced fees, or other financial benefits. The National Credit Union Administration, an agency of the U.S. Government, regulates all Credit Union activities. The NCUA, through its “National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund”, insures each member’s deposits for $250,000.

A Community Charter


St. Cloud Federal Credit Union is chartered as a community Credit Union — in our case, that means everyone who lives, works, or worships in the tri-county area of Stearns, Benton, and Sherburne can do their banking with us.

“Joining” our Credit Union simply means opening and maintaining a minimum of a $10 savings account. Then you can take advantage of all the other financial services we offer.

Full Range of Banking Services

Today, Credit Unions offer a full range of financial services, including home equity loans, mortgage loans, business loans for members with small businesses, credit cards, Online Banking, ATM service, and much more.

When you join a Credit Union, you become a member and owner — and once a member, you’re a member for life.

Local, Volunteer Board

The Credit Union is governed by a local volunteer Board of Directors that establishes and reviews policy.

The directors are Credit Union members who are elected by the membership at an annual meeting, and serve without pay. These volunteers give generously of their time because they believe in the Credit Union philosophy of “People Helping People”.

Every Member is Actually an Owner in the Credit Union

Every member of St Cloud Federal Credit Union is an owner, regardless of how many accounts they have, through their vote to elect members to the Board.

At the Credit Union, there is no select shareholder group that profits more than anyone else. All members profit — individually and collectively. As our mission statement indicates, St. Cloud Federal Credit Union’s mission is to “engage in a relentless effort to provide superior service to our members.”

How To Become A Member

St. Cloud Federal Credit Union is proud to serve the financial needs of our members. According to our federal charter, everyone who lives or works in Stearns, Benton, or Sherburne counties is eligible for membership at St. Cloud Federal. We invite everyone to join!

Make It A Family Affair

In addition, immediate family members of our members may join, regardless of where they live or work.

Immediate family members include: spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, or grandchild. This also includes stepparents, stepchildren, stepsiblings, and adoptive relationships.

You can open an account at our St. Cloud Office or our Sartell Office, and you can do your transactions at either convenient location.

To open an account, you need to bring:
A driver’s license or picture ID.
Your Social Security Number
Your initial $10 deposit in a primary savings account, which is the minimum deposit required for Credit Union membership and ownership.
If you have any questions, please stop in, call Member Services at (320) 252-2634 — toll-free 1-888-252-2634 — or Contact Us now.

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