The field of membership of St. John United FCU was originally composed of members and families of St. John Baptist Church and then was expanded to serve low income communities throughout the City of Buffalo.
The credit union’s field of membership has been expanded to also include community-based organizations that also serve members in low-income communities.
The St. John United Federal Credit Union is a Community Development Credit Union (CDCU) a financial cooperative, owned by it’s members who live, work, worship or attend school in the city of Buffalo, NY. This credit union exists for the financial benefit of the membership and the community at large.
In 1992, the Community Action Organization of Erie County, Inc., (CAO), merged with the St. John United FCU. This allowed the credit union to expand its field of membership into additional low-income areas. In 1996, the credit union was designated a ‘Low Income Credit Union’ thus qualifying as a Community Development Credit Union. It received three AmeriCorp Vista Volunteer grants. Through the efforts of the Vista Volunteers the Individual Development Account (IDA) was developed.
Since the turn of the century, the field of membership was expanded to include employees of 78 Restoration Corporation (SERC) and the Buffalo Urban League. Other credit union members include members of the St. John Tower Tenants Council, Gethsemane Baptist Church, True Bethel Baptist Church, Friendship Federal Credit Union, Bethel AME Credit Union, and the Black Chamber of Commerce of Western New York, Inc.
In the year 2023, the credit union celebrates its’ 50th Anniversary and since December 2022 the organization has granted over 3,100 loans totaling in access of $8 million dollars. There are additional programs offered by the credit union ranging from youth savings programs to a matching grant program that encourages low income persons to establish and maintain a share account. Also, it coordinates financial education workshops with local banks for its members and the community-at-large.
Unique to this 50-year operation is the fact that there is no full-time staff to carry-out daily credit union operations; it is a totally volunteer effort.
St. John United Federal Credit Union Mission Statement
As a Community Development Credit Union, we advocate revitalization, education, community development and the rekindling of community pride and volunteerism. We seek to maintain the credit union’s long-term financial stability and foster the credit union’s philosophy of ‘People Helping People’