After 72 years, a new era begins for the St. Thomas Employee Federal Credit Union.

The credit union announced it will merge with the Catholic United Financial Credit Union July 1, opening the door for new online banking, checking and ATM services, as well as share deposit, money market and educational savings accounts, CDs and mortgage referrals. Over 90% of the voting credit union members voted in favor of the merger.

The merger follows the trend of consolidation in the credit union industry.

“With the ever-changing demographics and technological expectations of the credit union membership, this timing presented the St. Thomas Employee Federal Credit Union with an opportunity to reach out to a larger credit union that could offer an expanded field of services that are readily available at other credit unions in the metro area,” said Mark Vangsgard, St. Thomas’ vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer.

The St. Thomas Employee Federal Credit Union was founded in 1949 by a group of College of St. Thomas faculty and staff members to provide a source of affordable loans and a method of savings. Over the years the membership has grown to include a broader range of family members, and in 2017, St. Thomas alumni from some of the metro area counties became eligible to be members.

The St. Thomas Employee Federal Credit Union and the Catholic United Financial Credit Union held a joint Zoom meeting on June 29 at 2 p.m. to discuss the merger and answer questions. All St. Thomas Employee Federal Credit Union members that currently have loans will see no changes in the written terms or interest rates. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) continues to insure all member accounts for up to $250,000 at all credit unions in the United States.

The transition from the St. Thomas Employee Federal Credit Union to the Catholic United Financial Credit Union will be as seamless as possible, said St. Thomas Employee Federal Credit Union Manager Tony Erickson. St. Thomas payroll deductions will be sent to the Catholic United Financial Credit Union starting Friday, July 2. While the Catholic United Financial Credit Union will not have a physical presence on campus, members will have access to cash through nearby ATM machines, in addition to online banking services, reducing the need to request a check.

All St. Thomas Employee Federal Credit Union members will be receiving a welcome packet in the mail in the next week outlining the many options that are available to the Catholic United Financial Credit Union members.

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