By Lani Gering
Signature Federal Credit Union
“We believe in the power of all of us.”
My first introduction to Signature Federal Credit Union (SFCU) was when Janeen Mountz in their marketing department contacted us about advertising rates a year or so ago. Needless to say, these are the emails and phone calls we really like to get! Little did I know that it would result in such a great working relationship. While we normally focus on more of the “Mom and Pop” businesses as subject matter for these profiles, there was something about SFCU that intrigued us.
While working with them on their advertising I had the opportunity to visit their office. At that time I didn’t realize that the location in the Del Ray neighborhood is their national headquarters. Located in a rather obscure building on a side street, it isn’t exactly what one thinks of as a prime location for a nationally recognized banking institution. Definitely not on the main drag. I have since come to realize that the major portion of their membership takes care of their transactions via the internet and ATM’s so having prime storefront space isn’t a priority. When I inquired as to why they chose the Del Ray area for their headquarters, their CEO, Becca Cuddy,.told me, “We chose the location because of the proximity to both DC and Old Town and, at the time, the relatively inexpensive cost of commercial real estate here. We relocated here in 1989 and, over the years, have watched the Del Ray neighborhood and businesses grow and thrive in this great small town community.”
I think that their philosophy is a good one. I couldn’t say it any better than they do on their website:
SFCU believes that together, we can do more than we can alone. We’re a credit union that’s dedicated to serving people who put their name behind something they believe in by signing up for organizations with a shared purpose, like a community group or trade association.
And for 45 years, that’s what we’ve done, first as the Postmasters credit union and now welcoming members of associations, business leagues, alumni groups and charitable organizations based in the greater Washington, D.C. area. We’re proud to help our members build their businesses, their families and their dreams with financial products and resources for the everyday to the once-in-a-lifetime need.
Signature membership starts with just $5 minimum deposit into a basic Share Savings account.
And that’s it. No more fees, no more membership minimum balance to enjoy membership benefits. Dividends start to accrue at an average daily balance of $100. And you’ll always deposit with peace of mind because Signature Share accounts are federally insured by NCUA up to $250,000.
I also inquired as to what they feel sets SFCU apart from other local credit unions and banks. Cuddy tells us, “We are truly dedicated to helping people make the most with what they’ve got. Whether it is savings or borrowing, members get a distinct rate advantage dealing with us. And, we do not charge maintenance or service fees. The fees we charge for things like bounced checks and wiring money are generally lower than competitors. But, one of our really great advantages is that we are all right here for our members. Our call center is in our building and our financial reps handle each member as if they are a member of our family.”
I personally like the casual atmosphere that their headquarters exudes. Everyone I have encountered has a genuine friendly attitude and it is clear that they like where they work.
We are very partial to successful businesses that take an interest in the community that they serve. SFCU is definitely involved. According to Becca, ”We try to attend each Del Ray community event so that the community recognizes us. We have worked with several area businesses to create special programs that will benefit both the organization and SFCU. Our focus is getting our name out there as a recognized leader in the financial services area for the community so we will entertain any effort that will advance that goal and help the neighborhood thrive.”
If you are looking for a very user friendly place to put some of your hard earned money, you won’t go wrong by considering this institution.
Signature Federal Credit Union
12 Herbert Street