State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU)

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State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU)

What Is the State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU)?

The name State Workers’ Credit Union (SECU) refers to a nonprofit financial organization operated by North Carolina state employees. The SECU was established in 1937 and is currently one of the biggest credit unions in the United States in terms of asset size and membership.

The primary goal of the credit union is to offer its members with cheap financial services such as checking and savings accounts, loans, mortgages, and investment savings vehicles.

Key Takeaways

  • The State Employees’ Credit Union is a credit union owned by North Carolina state employees.
  • SECU is the country’s second-largest credit union.
  • The credit union offers basic financial services, investment services, and insurance products to its members.
  • You must be employed by the State of North Carolina or a linked institution to join.

How the State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Works

The SECU was created in 1937 by state employees in North Carolina. The union was created to offer state and public school personnel, as well as their families, with consumer financial services. The SECU had less than two dozen members and around $450 in assets when it was founded. The union’s assets had risen to $53.1 billion as of March 2022, with as many as 240 locations around North Carolina serving more than 1.7 million members. 12 SECU operates a network of 1,100 automated teller machines (ATMs) across North Carolina.

Individuals must be employed by the state of North Carolina to become members. Federal workers who work for North Carolina state agencies, members of the state’s public school boards, members of the state’s National Guard, some county employees, and retirees from any of the above are also eligible. Membership is also open to immediate family members of current members, such as spouses, siblings, and children. Those who fit into any of these categories may join by creating a Share Account, which is a savings account, with a minimum deposit of $25 or more.

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Qualifying persons may join the SECU by creating a Share Account with a minimum deposit of $25.3.

SECU Mission and Offerings

As previously stated, the primary goal of the union is to offer its members with reasonable and easily accessible financial services. Among these services are:

  • Checking and savings accounts are the most basic banking services.
  • Personal, student, vehicle, and mortgage loans
  • Credit cards

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), one of two agencies that provide deposit insurance (the other being the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), insures SECU member deposits (FDIC).

The union’s offerings grew over time to include investment accounts, estate planning, trust services, and insurance products. SECU investing accounts assist members in saving for retirement and education by offering low-cost diversified stock and bond mutual funds. Investment advisers evaluate a member’s objectives and risk tolerance to choose the optimal mutual fund for the member’s tax-advantaged or taxable investment account. Members who wish to invest in stocks, bonds, or other mutual funds may do it online or with the aid of customer service agents. There are no service or transaction costs with standard, Roth, and simplified employee pension (SEP) individual retirement accounts (IRAs). A $25 minimum initial deposit is required for these accounts.

Special Considerations

The State Employees’ Credit Union, according to its website, actively participates in local communities through encouraging financial literacy and education, as well as other outreach activities. 4 The SECU Foundation, which was created by the union’s members, is one of these. It was established in 2004 to promote community initiatives in housing, education, and health care around the state, as well as high school and college scholarships and special awards. Among these programs are:

  • The SECU Commons, which houses homeless families, children transitioning out of foster care, and autistic young people.
  • Good Shepherd, which provides elders, veterans, and the handicapped with permanent housing
  • A Chef’s Life, which raises awareness and funds for local food producers.
  • The People Helping People Scholarship Program, which sends students to a four-year public institution, was established in 2008.
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The foundation is supported by a $1 monthly service fee paid by SECU bank account customers.

What Is the Fee on a SECU Checking Account?

Many of SECU’s accounts, including its bank accounts, are charged $1 every statement period. After 50 checks each month, there is additionally a $0.20 per-check processing charge. 5

What Other Products and Services Does SECU Offer?

SECU members may also use the credit union’s loan products, insurance and annuity products, financial counseling services, and tax services.

Who Can Become a SECU Member?

To create an account with SECU, you or a close family must be a state of North Carolina employee (or a federal employee assigned to N.C.), or work in certain departments of county-level governments inside N.C.

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