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Credit Union Difference

Thank you for your interest in 1st Nor Cal® Credit Union. We are a cooperative financial institution, helping our members achieve their financial goals since 1949. We offer a wide variety of products and services, backed by our commitment to the credit union philosophy, “people helping people”.


1st Nor Cal® Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative. Credit unions do not issue stock or pay dividends to outside stockholders, like most other financial institutions. Instead, earnings are returned to our members in the form of lower loan rates, higher interest on deposits, and lower fees. We exist to serve our members, not to make a profit.


Each credit union member has equal ownership and one vote, regardless of how much money you have on deposit. At 1st Nor Cal® Credit Union, you’re both a member and an owner.

Volunteer Board

We are governed by a board of directors, elected by and from the credit union’s membership. Board members serve voluntarily.

Financial Education for Members

We assist members to become better-educated consumers of financial services. Learn More »


» Is 1st Nor Cal® Credit Union as Safe as Other Financial Institutions?

Absolutely! Your savings are federally insured to at least $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), rated the strongest federal financial insurance fund. Your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) investments are insured for up to $250,000 by the same government agency.

There’s more. 1st Nor Cal® Credit Union has received “5-Star” rating from Bauer Financial Reports each consecutive period since Bauer began evaluating credit unions in 1990. A “5-Star” rating from Bauer is the highest rating from this impartial rating agency and Bauer verifies that we are among the safest financial institutions in the United States! Please visit Bauer Financial by going online to www.bauerfinancial.com for more information on rating facts.

» How Does a Credit Union Operate?

A group of people with a common bond (employment, community, organization, etc.) pool their savings, and elect individuals from their ranks to manage and protect those funds.

The funds are made available to fellow members as relatively inexpensive loans.

The interest earned from the loans pays the costs of operation of the credit union. Part of the profits of the credit union is put into reserves and undivided earnings for possible loan losses, and to maintain stability in the event of any future uncertain economy.

Surplus earnings are then returned to the members/owners as dividends (interest) on savings, low interest rates for loans, and an array of sophisticated financial services.

The dollars you invest with 1st Nor Cal® Credit Union become “Shares of Ownership” and afford the members part-ownership of the credit union. Accordingly, your credit union savings account is also called a “Share Account.”

The interest you earn on your savings is called a “Dividend.” The Board of Directors of the credit union declare the dividend at the close of each business quarter based on net earnings. The credit union pays dividend on every single dollar invested (deposited) with the credit union – for every day you leave it on deposit.

» Where Did Credit Unions Come From?

In the midst of poverty during the mid-1800’s, Germany’s Mayor Friedrich Raiffeisen encouraged the town’s workers and weavers to pool their money, and make loans to each other rather than borrow from usurious money lenders. The concept spread to Canada and to the United States in the early 1900’s.

According to statistics from 2012, there are over 55,000 credit unions worldwide, serving 200 million members in 101 countries. There are close to 7,000 credit unions in the United States alone according to Credit Union National Association (CUNA) 2013 statistics.

» Who’s In Charge of 1st Nor Cal® Credit Union?

1st Nor Cal® Credit Union is governed as a representative democracy. From the ranks of the credit union membership, volunteers serve as Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee members. The volunteer board members are elected into their respective offices by the entire class of the credit union membership either in person or by proxy. The volunteer representative structure is the hallmark and cornerstone of the credit union philosophy. This philosophy further sets credit unions apart from other financial institutions.

Annual Meeting of Membership is held each year, at which time credit union members elect the Board of Directors. Regardless of the number of shares one holds, all vote eligible members are entitled to one vote at the Annual Meeting. All elected and appointed officials serve without pay and contribute many hours in oversight of the credit union.

The Board of Directors is made up of five (5) fellow credit union members who have the ultimate responsibility of policy-making for the credit union. The board meets at least once a month to review, and analyze the operations, policies and provides oversight of the general principles of which 1st Nor Cal® Credit Union operates under. The board is elected for a term of two (2) years. The board hires the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to carry out the credit union’s rules, policies, procedures and manage the credit union’s staff.

The Supervisory Committee is made up of five (5) fellow credit union members appointed by the Board of Directors. The function of the committee is to conduct audits of the credit union’s financial records at least once a year. The committee may also periodically appraise the policies, procedures and operations of the credit union, and make recommendations to the Board of Directors for any improvements or change.

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