United Federal Credit Union (UFCU) is a federally chartered credit union based in St. Joseph, Michigan with a 70-year history. Originally chartered in 1949, UFCU has more than 174,000 Members in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The credit union assets in excess of $2.8 billion as of 2019. UFCU has 35 branches in six states: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Nevada, North Carolina, and Arkansas. United Federal Credit Union offers a diverse array of products and services for businesses and individuals, include checking and savings accounts; auto loans, RV and boat loans, credit cards; mortgage, construction, and lot loans; home equity loans, and lines of credit; business accounts, loans, and credit cards.
United Federal Credit Union’s origins date to the 1930s and 1940s, when the Nineteen Hundred Employee Credit Union (NHECU), and the Buchanan Clark Employee Credit Union (BCECU), were originally formed to serve the employees of the companies that would ultimately become the Whirlpool Corporation and the Clark Equipment Company. NHECU formed in 1949 with eight employees and volunteers who handled the transactions. Nineteen Hundred Corporation became Whirlpool Corporation in 1950, and the credit union became Whirlpool Employee Federal Credit Union (WEFCU).
By 1955, WEFCU’s assets reached $1 million. By 1958, assets doubled to $2 million. Assets more than doubled again over the next five years, and in 1963, WEFCU moved into a brand new building in St. Joseph, MI. In 1969, BCECU became Clark Credit Union, and a short time later, Clark Federal Credit Union. Explosive growth continued for WEFCU between 1963 and 1978, requiring the credit union to relocate to 2900 South State Street in downtown St. Joseph. Assets exceeded $30 million, with 15,800 Members and 27 employees.
Beginning in 1980, WEFCU merged with credit unions serving Whirlpool subsidiaries in Marion, OH and Fort Smith, AR. In 1987, CFCU reached $50 million in assets and changed their name to United Federal Credit Union (UFCU) while WEFCU because Whirlpool Community Federal Credit Union (WCFCU). Then in 1992, WCFCU changed again to the First Resource Federal Credit Union (FRFCU). During the 1990s, both FRFCU and UFCU broke ground on new corporate headquarters buildings, located in St. Joseph, MI, and Buchanan, MI, respectively.
New branches opened in Holland, MI in 2000, and in 2006, FRFCU merged with UFCU. All locations adopted the UFCU name, but the headquarters remained in St. Joseph and retained the FRFCU charter number.
In 2009, growth continued with the acquisition of Clearstar Financial Credit Union in Reno, NV. In 2011, UFCU purchased Griffith Savings Bank in Griffith, IN, marking the first time a bank had been purchased by a federally chartered credit union. As of 2012, assets reached $1.5 billion with plans in progress for an expanded corporate headquarters.
In October 2015 Lake Michigan Credit Union and United Federal Credit Union announced their intent to merge. The merger did not occur.
Assets grew to over $2 billion and membership to over 150,000 in 2016 with the opening of branches in Carson City, NV, and Asheville, NC.
In 2018, United entered the South Bend, Indiana market with 2 new branch locations.
|1930s||• 1937 – Buchanan Clark Employee Credit Union (BCECU) formed|
|1940s||• 1949 – Nineteen Hundred Employee Credit Union (NHECU) formed|
|1950s|| • 1950 – NHECU changes name to Whirlpool Employee Federal Credit Union (WEFCU)
• 1955 – WEFCU reaches $1 million in assets
• 1958 – WEFCU reaches $2 million in assets
|1960s|| • 1962 – Construction of the first free-standing building for WEFCU
• 1963 – WEFCU reaches $4.5 million in assets
• 1969 – BCECU changes name to Clark Credit Union
|1970s|| • 1972 – Clark Credit Union becomes Clark Federal Credit Union (CFCU)
• 1978 – WEFCU reaches $30.2 million in assets
|1980s|| • 1980 – Marion Whirlpool Employee Credit Union in Marion, OH merges with WEFCU
• 1981 – Whirlpool Employee Credit Union in Fort Smith, AR merges with WEFCU
• 1987 – WEFCU changes name to Whirlpool Community Federal Credit Union (WCFCU)
• 1987 – CFCU reaches $50 million in assets, changes name to United Federal Credit Union (UFCU)
|1990s|| • 1991 – WCFCU changes name to First Resource Federal Credit Union (FRFCU)
• 1992 – FRFCU reaches $140 million in assets; UFCU reaches $75 million in assets
• 1993 – FRFCU opens new headquarters on South State Street in St. Joseph, MI
• 1995 – UFCU reaches $100 million in assets and 21,000 members
• 1996 – UFCU builds a new corporate office in Buchanan, MI
• 1999 – Lakeland Credit Union merges with FRFCU
|2000s|| • 2001 – Lake View Credit Union merges with UFCU
• 2002 – Gast Employee Credit Union merges with UFCU
• 2003 – Marion Federal Credit Union merges with FRFCU
• 2006 – UFCU merges into FRFCU and together they adopt the United Federal Credit Union name
• 2009 – UFCU acquires Clearstar Financial Credit Union in Reno, NV
|2010s|| • 2010 – UFCU membership reaches 100,000
• 2011 – UFCU purchases assets of Griffith Savings Bank in Griffith, IN, becoming the first credit union to purchase a bank
• 2012 – UFCU reaches $1.5 billion in assets and 117,000 members
• 2012 – UFCU announces corporate headquarters expansion project
• 2013 – UFCU named Michigan Credit Union League Outstanding Credit Union of the Year 2013 and National Federal Credit Union of the Year 2013 by the National Association of Federal Credit Unions.
• 2015 – Opens branch in Springdale, AR.
• 2016 – Assets of $2 billion and 150,000 members; opens branches in Carson City, NV, and Asheville, NC.
• 2018 – Opens branches in South Bend/Mishawaka, IN.
Products and services
United Federal Credit Union provides products and services to individuals and businesses. For Individual Members, there are checking accounts, long or short-term savings options including IRAs or HSAs; mortgage, auto, and equity loans; lines of credit for debt consolidation; and investment planning options. UFCU also offers a Member Assistance Program to help Members work through debt concerns.
UFCU also offers Business Members access to loans, checking accounts, and cash management options, as well as payroll management and merchant services.
• UFCU talks about financial news and takes questions from listeners during Monday Morning Money Talk with Pat Moody on WSJM radio.
• UFCU Double-R Branch in Nevada collaborated with state troopers and the Nevada Humane Society to sponsor a Shred-a-Thon for area residents to get rid of unneeded documents. UFCU employees helped carry boxes and bags, and the credit union donated $1,000 to the state troopers’ cause, the Special Olympics.
• In 2011, UFCU donated over $150,000 to charities and community projects in five states. More than two dozen organizations benefited, including Habitat for Humanity, March of Dimes, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Relay for Life, and several school districts.
• In 2011, UFCU employees gave more than 660 hours of volunteer time, aided by a UFCU program that provides paid time off to participate in volunteer efforts.
- Bratt, Don; Charles Spilman (October 14, 2015). “Lake Michigan Credit Union and United Federal Credit Union to Merge” (PDF) (Press release). Lake Michigan Credit Union; United Federal Credit Union. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
- Jim, Harger (January 8, 2016). “‘Largest merger in history’ canceled by 2 Michigan credit unions”. The Grand Rapids Press. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
- Making a Difference: UFCU Gives Back to our Communities, Winter 2012 eNewsletter Archived May 27, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Making a Difference: UFCU Gives Back to our Communities, Winter 2012 eNewsletter