A credit union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that is owned by its members. Member savings form a pool of money from which low-cost loans are made to other members. Once overhead and other expenses are paid and reserves set aside, income from loans is returned to members in the form of dividends on savings, expansion of services, a larger cushion against loss, etc. After a credit union has met its other goals, it may give any remaining surplus back to the members as bonus dividends on savings or loan interest rebates.
The philosophy of the credit union movement is "Not for Profit, Not for Charity, But for Service." Credit unions promote thrift and teach the wise use of credit. Credit unions encourage their members to develop a systematic savings program and they provide a source of low-cost borrowing. Because credit unions are not-for-profit and have low overhead costs, they are usually able to offer lower interest rates on loans and higher dividends on members’ shares (savings). A credit union is also non-profit in the sense that its purpose is to serve the members, not to make money for investors. It needs money to provide services and benefits. But money is the means, not the end.
Every credit union serves a specific field of membership as defined by its charter. Anyone who falls within the common bond of the credit union may join and share in its ownership. A common bond can be defined as the employees of a company, members of a civic or church group, residents of a community or numerous groups together. Generally, persons within a member’s family, by blood or marriage, may also Join SNFCU.
You can become an owner/shareholder/member of the Saint Nicholas Federal Credit Union in 4 easy steps.
- 1) Identify the field of membership group to which you belong.*
- 2) Visit or call our office to fill out a signature card.
- 3) Provide some type of photo ID ( eg. drivers’ license) and your Social Security Card.
- 4) Deposit a minimum of $25.00 into your share account.
*You must belong to one of the following groups in order to become an owner/ shareholder/ member of the Saint Nicholas Federal Credit Union:
- – Be a member of St. Nicholas parish.
- – Be related to a member of St. Nicholas parish.
- – Be a member of St. Andrews parish.
- – Be related to a member of St. Andrews parish.
- – Be a member of St. Mary’s – Our Lady of Fatima Parish.
- – Be related to a member of St. Mary’s – Our Lady of Fatima Parish.
- – Be a member of the Faculty, Staff, or Student Body of St. Nicholas – St. Mary’s School.
- – Be related to a member of the Faculty, Staff, or Student Body of St. Nicholas – St. Mary’s School.
If you have questions, please visit our contact page, call 570-825-2640 or stop in on Monday evenings between 6:00 pm and 8:30 pm.
Credit unions are democratically controlled by their members. The members, themselves, elect a board of directors from among the membership, which is responsible for setting policy. Day-to-day operations are handled by paid professionals, or in the case of a small sized credit union, by volunteers.
A credit union receives its authority to operate by obtaining a federal or state charter. Federally chartered credit unions follow the regulations set by the Federal Credit Union Act, and state chartered credit unions follow those under the State Credit Union Act. SNFCU has been Federally chartered since 1938. Annual examinations and oversight is conducted by the supervisory agencies—the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for the federal credit unions and the Pennsylvania Department of Banking for credit unions chartered under Pennsylvania laws.
Member savings accounts at all Pennsylvania credit unions are federally insured up to $250,000 by NCUA‘s share insurance fund. This fund is backed by the full faith and credit of the government. No taxpayer funds are used to support the NCUA or the credit union insurance fund.
In Pennsylvania, recent statistics indicate that there are 381 credit unions that serve more than 3.9 million members. Collectively, they hold $45 billion in assets. In the United States, there are 5,750 credit unions that serve more than 104 million members. Worldwide, 75,000 credit unions operate in 109 countries, providing affordable financial services to 260 million members.
1849 is generally accepted as the year that the first credit union was organized. Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen conceived the idea. He was mayor of a small German town whose inhabitants had suffered heavy financial losses due to a crop failure and a depression. He believed that by pooling small sums of money, a fund could be established from which loans could be made at a low rate of interest. Today credit unions still make small loans that other financial institutions may consider too small for processing.
The first U.S. credit union was formed in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1909. This was accomplished with the help of Alphonse Desjardins, a Canadian journalist, who had introduced the idea to Canada in 1901.
Edward A. Filene, a famous Boston merchant, was on a world tour in 1909 and witnessed credit unions in action…first in India and later in Europe. When he returned home and learned that there was such an organization in New Hampshire, he began a one-man campaign to extend the idea in this country. He is reported to have used more than a million dollars of his personal funds for this purpose. He succeeded in passing state laws giving credit unions legal status, and in 1934 he saw his dream come true when the United States Congress enacted a federal credit union law. Since then the movement has grown tremendously.
A dormant account is one that has not had any activity generated by the owner within a specified period of time. The PA Department of the Treasury considers dormant accounts as unclaimed property. Companies doing business in PA are required to report unclaimed property to the State Treasury after 36 months of inactivity. At Saint Nicholas, we notify our members when they have been inactive for 12 months.