U credit union celebrates 10thanniversary

Stacy Herrmann

Since its inception in 1988, the University Federal Credit Union has been glad to take care of the community’s money, but now union officials are happy to be able to give some back.
The credit union, which is located on the lower level of Coffman Union, is having a drawing this week to give away 10 savings bonds of $100 each to its members as part of its 10th anniversary celebration.
However, union officials say getting to its 10th anniversary has not been easy.
Denny Currin, the credit union’s president, said the union has had to adapt to fit University demands over the years. He added that the union, which is the only financial institution on campus, has had to overcome fierce competition from larger off-campus banks like TCF.
“One of the things we have weathered and survived is the advent of the U Card,” Currin said. TCF outbid the union in 1995 for rights to offer banking options to U Card holders.
When the U Card was developed a lot of people were concerned with the ramifications it would have on the existence of the credit union.
But Currin said the U Card has not had a harsh impact.
“We understand what’s happening around here,” Currin said.
Sandy Decker, the union’s vice president, agreed and said that one of the union’s crucial objectives is to keep in touch with its nearly 5,000 members. Union members range from students, staff and faculty members to alumni members and Fairview-University Medical Center employees.
“We care what’s happening around here,” Decker said.
Decker added that the union was formed with the intent of being an officially recognized financial institution for the University.
The National Credit Union granted the University a charter to operate in August 1987. A $4 million University loan helped to initially open the doors of the credit union in February 1988. Currin said the union’s current asset size is estimated at $11.4 million.
The University Federal Credit Union also services about 120 of the student activity accounts on campus. Because many members are on a nine-month payroll, the credit union serves a different kind of community than most banks or credit unions.
However, Currin said that after 10 years of continued service, the intention of the credit union is still the same.
“The sole purpose is to serve the University community,” Currin said.