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.
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 counties 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.
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.
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."