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NCUA’s Federal Credit Union Charter Application Guide provides direction on applying for a Federal Credit Union Charter. The guide’s five parts include step-by-step guidance and examples to help your proposed federal credit union (PFCU) group navigate the process successfully.
What is a Credit Union?
Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members. Like banks, credit unions accept deposits, make loans and provide a wide array of other financial services. But as member-owned and cooperative institutions, credit unions provide a safe place to save and borrow at reasonable rates.
You are more than a member,
you are part owner.
Credit unions are owned and controlled by the people, or members, who use their services. Your vote counts. A volunteer board of directors is elected by members to manage a credit union. Credit unions operate to promote the well-being of their members.
Profits made by credit unions are returned back to members in the form of reduced fees, higher savings rates and lower loan rates. Members of a credit union share a common bond, also known as the credit union’s “field of membership.”
Part 1, Preliminary Work, Steps 1 through 3
This Part covers what you should research before starting the chartering process. It also covers establishing a name and a field of membership for your PFCU.
The most efficient way to successfully maneuver through the chartering process is to complete Parts 1 through 3 in the order listed. NCUA will review each of your submitted Steps and provide you feedback as to when you should proceed to the next Part. Any Step within a Part can be submitted when completed.
Part 2, Support and Location, Steps 4 through 7
This Part covers:
- identifying subscribers;
- securing funding for start-up and operational costs;
- identifying a location; and
- completing a survey of the potential field of membership.
Part 3, Assembling Your Package, Steps 8 through 15
This Part covers operational and financial plans for the PFCU. It includes:
- finding a mentor;
- identifying officials and staff;
- developing a detailed and realistic business and marketing plan;
- completing NCUA’s chartering forms; and
- developing bylaws, policies, and procedures.
Part 4, NCUA Action, Steps 16 and 17
This Part discusses NCUA’s actions upon determining you have satisfactorily completed all Steps, 1 through 15, and have met the requirements for your charter to be approved.
Part 5, Attachments
There are 13 attachments to the Guide, A through M. Attachment A is a checklist recapping the documentation requirements for Steps 1 through 15. The other attachments are examples, templates, resource materials and links, etc.
If after reviewing this guide you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com or call 703-518-1150. A representative from NCUA's Division of Consumer Access can discuss in greater detail with you the step-by-step processes and answer your questions as it pertains to your specific proposed federal credit union. Also, if your group is eligible, NCUA's staff can provide guidance and assist with preparing the new credit union charter application.