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About our Credit Union

What Is A Credit Union?

A Credit Union is a democratic, cooperative financial institution, founded by its members, governed by its members, and serving its members by providing them with affordable financial services.

Credit Unions adhere to the seven principles of cooperation and their core values of equality, equity and mutual self-help. Throughout the world they promote economic development for all and the brotherhood of man, people working together to achieve a better life for themselves and their community.

Federal Credit Unions are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and member deposits are insured to at least $250,000 by this government agency.

Mission Statement

Selfreliance Federal Credit Union is a financial cooperative composed of members of a common background and bond. It exists for their benefit. It must provide varied types of financial services at highest professional levels and create a caring environment for its members. It must foster the ideals of cooperation, promote ethnic strength, and provide long-term stability to our Ukrainian-American community.

History of Selfreliance FCU

May 12, 1951, a group of Ukrainian immigrants decided to create a new financial institution to meet the needs of their fellow Ukrainians in Chicago. These individuals, who had been active participants in the cooperative movement in Ukraine before they emigrated, were pleased to discover that Credit Unions existed in the United States.

July 2, 1951 Selfreliance Federal Credit Union received its federal charter and held its first meeting. The first Board of Directors included: Anton Artymowycz, Alexander Atanowsky, Bohdan Bilynsky, Joseph Datzko, Gregory Masnyk, Roman Mycyk, Stefan Sambirsky, Elias Semianczuk, Walter Tymciurak, and Elias Wytanowycz. Elias Semianczuk was elected Chairman of the Board, and Omelan Pleszkewycz became the Credit Union's Treasurer/Manager.

Selfreliance Federal Credit Union's first office was located on the second floor of the Ukrainian community building "Besida", at 2408 W. Chicago Ave. For the first 2½ years, the members of the Board of Selfreliance, together with the Manager, volunteered as tellers, loan officers, bookkeepers – all in their "spare time" after putting in a full day of work in factories and offices.

In 1953, at the insistence of the credit union’s federal regulators, Omelan Pleszkewycz became the credit union's first salaried employee, its Manager. He held this position until his retirement in 1980. By 1955 the Credit Union had grown to include 1,100 members and $650,000 in assets. Two additional full-time staffers were hired. In 1955 Anton Artymowycz was elected to the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors.

April 17, 1957 the Board of Directors authorized the purchase of the building at 2351 West Chicago Avenue. The professionalism and trustworthiness of its leaders, together with a well-crafted campaign of public education about cooperatives, inspired growing confidence among community members in the newly-created institution. In 1959 Anton Artymowycz resigned from the Board of Directors, taking a position as a full-time staffer of the credit union. Roman Mycyk was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors.

In 1993 Selfreliance assumed the Selfreliance JC FCU, thereby acquiring a branch office in Jersey City, NJ. In 2000 two more branch offices were opened, in Newark and Parsippany (now in Whippany) NJ following the merger of Selfreliance UFCU/Chicago with Selfreliance UAFCU/Newark. In 2018 Michigan’s Ukrainian Future Credit Union, with three offices in Warren, Hamtramck and West Bloomfield, was merged with Selfreliance FCU.

As of December 31, 2018, Selfreliance Federal Credit Union, with its Home Office in the heart of Chicago’s Ukrainian Village, operates in three states, with nine branch offices. Selfreliance FCU has grown to nearly 24,000 members, with $580 million in assets and $110 million in reserves. To lean more about our financial institution, please read our current and archived Annual Reports.

Credit Union Governance

The primary governing body of Selfreliance Federal Credit Union is its membership, which gathers once a year at the Annual General Meeting of the Members to elect a volunteer Board of Directors and to ratify any necessary changes to the By-Laws. Each credit union member in good standing has one vote. During the year the credit union is governed by the elected Board of Directors, which is charged with the responsibility of providing direction and setting policy for the Credit Union and its staff.

The Board of Directors elects an Executive Committee, as appoints members to the credit union’s standing committees. The Supervisory Committee reviews all credit union operations and informs the members of its findings.

Selfreliance and the Community

Selfreliance Federal Credit Union is a democratic financial cooperative, operated by its members for the benefit of the members and the community. Selfreliance FCU supports the efforts of its members in establishing cultural and social organizations. These institutions maintain the integrity of the community while supporting growth in Credit Union membership.

With its affordable loans and beneficial services, Selfreliance FCU helps its members strengthen their economic standing. Our involvement with community organizations helps preserve and maintain the viability of the Ukrainian Diaspora communities in our service areas in Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey.

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