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Our story

Our Story

Our Story

Learn how DCU has become one of the largest credit unions headquartered in New England.

Who is DCU?  

Digital Federal Credit Union, better known as DCU, is a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by and operated for our members. DCU was chartered in October of 1979. Since then, DCU has been chosen as the credit union for more than 700 companies and organizations. DCU serves more than 800,000 members and their families in all 50 states.

With headquarters in Marlborough, Massachusetts, DCU is the largest credit union headquartered in New England as measured by assets and is among the top 20 nationwide.

Members access their accounts at DCU through the Internet, ATMs, telephone, community branches in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, as well as thousands of CO-OP Shared Branch locations nationwide. In fact, half of DCU's members never use a DCU branch.

DCU provides a wide variety of services to consumers and businesses:

  • Consumer banking and lending services – including checking, savings, mortgages, equity loans, auto loans, credit cards, and much more.
  • Business banking and lending services – including checking, savings, commercial and business loans, credit cards, and other services.
  • DCU Insurance – Independent Insurance Agency providing auto, home, liability, and other property and casualty coverage in multiple states.
  • DCU Realty – a full-service real estate agency in Massachusetts and New Hampshire with relocation and other services available in every state.

What is a Credit Union?

A not-for-profit financial cooperative owned and operated by members like you.

Even though millions of Americans are members of credit unions, many people still don't understand what credit unions are.

Overview

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives serving groups of members who have something in common such as employment at a company, membership in an association, or residence in a particular geographic area. A credit union that may serve anyone who lives or works within a particular geographic area is called a community credit union. A credit union that serves groups of employees or associations is typically called a SEG-based (for select employee group) or a sponsor-based credit union. DCU is SEG-based.

More than 87 million U.S. consumers are member-owners of, and receive all or part of their financial services from the nation's nearly 8,000 credit unions. As not-for-profit cooperatives, credit unions generally offer more attractive savings and loan rates and low or no fees. Surveys consistently rank credit unions first among financial institutions in consumer satisfaction.

Philosophy and Structure

Credit unions are democratically owned and controlled institutions, based on people helping people principles. Credit union boards of directors are elected by members. Each member has an equal vote regardless of how much he or she has on deposit. At mutual banks, the amount on deposit determines the number of votes. In publicly-held banks, the number of shares of stock determines this.

Only members may serve as directors. They are unpaid volunteers and represent the interests of their fellow members who use the credit union. Board members at other types of financial institutions are paid and represent the interests of the outside owners. Volunteers are an important credit union resource. Presently, more than 129,000 Americans volunteer for their credit unions serving as board members, committee members, or providing other assistance. Credit unions have no outside stockholders so, after reserves are set aside, earnings are returned to members in the form of dividends on savings, lower loan rates, or additional services.

Prudently Managed and Federally Insured

Credit unions primarily engage in consumer loans and, to a lesser degree, business and residential real estate loans to their members.

Deposits at federally-chartered and virtually all state-chartered credit unions are federally-insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. This fund is administered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). It is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government. Like other insurance funds, such as FDIC coverage for banks, NCUSIF protects member deposits to $250,000. Get more information on NCUA insurance coverage on your DCU savings on our web site.

Regulation and Supervision

Federally chartered credit unions like DCU are regulated by the NCUA, an independent federal agency. State chartered credit unions are regulated by the their state credit union department. No taxpayer money is used for NCUA regulation as all NCUA and NCUSIF activities are paid for by credit unions. Credit unions are also subject to many other laws and regulations administered by such agencies as the Federal Reserve, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, and many other federal and state agencies.

Taxation

Because of the member-owned, democratically operated, not-for-profit nature of credit unions, the federal government has made credit unions exempt from federal income taxes. Most states have extended this to state income and most sales taxes. Credit unions do pay payroll taxes, property taxes, and some sales taxes. Credit union members pay taxes on their credit union dividends.

This article was prepared with the assistance of the Credit Union National Association.

DCU's Vision Statement      

"All Members Achieve Their Financial Goals Collaboratively "

Unlike most companies, we have a Vision that we live every day. The DCU vision that "All Members Achieve Their Financial Goals Collaboratively " means we want to be the catalyst and the cheerleader for our members’ long-term financial success.

DCU’s belief that any and all business we conduct be in accordance with the highest level of ethical standards possible. This applies to all of our employees, subsidiaries, and vendors. We strive to uphold the highest professional and ethical standards as a foundation for building long-term, trusting relationships with our members. It’s Banking – the DCU Way!

So what exactly is the DCU Way? We feel strongly that our integrity is the most important aspect of who we are and have adopted three principles that guide the decisions and behavior of everyone at DCU:

  • People Come First
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Make a Difference

So join DCU today and find out why thousands of people choose DCU for all their financial services. You’ll be glad that you did (and so will your bank account).

DCU's History – A Look Back

Digital Federal Credit Union, or DCU as it's become known to most of our members, was organized by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in 1979. DEC, was one of the fastest growing computer companies in the world, and was looking to expand its list of employee benefits.

The thought was to offer employees the ability to do their personal banking at an employee owned financial service provider in the form of a credit union – owned by the employees or members. Since credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions and all earnings after expenses are returned back to the members as lower loan rates, better savings rates, or as free or low-fee services, the idea was embraced wholeheartedly.

Digital Federal Credit Union received its federal charter from the National Credit Union Administration in October of 1979 and opened for business at two DEC facilities in Maynard, Massachusetts. From the beginning DCU grew rapidly.

In 1996, DCU opened in Merrimack, NH its first freestanding branch to better serve the families of DCU members and new sponsor companies. 19 years later, DCU now has 22 branches located in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts. DCU most recently opened a third branch in Worcester, MA.

In 1999, DCU officially changed its name to Digital Federal Credit Union. By keeping the word "digital", the credit union paid homage to its heritage for its long-time members, for newer members, it described the high-tech financial institution DCU has become.

From being the third credit union in the U.S. with a web site to being one of the first financial institutions to debut an iPhone and Android application that allows members to make a check deposit by taking a picture of their check, DCU is dedicated to providing members with convenience, cost effective banking options, and innovative technology.

Thanks largely in part by word of mouth and the loyalty of members, DCU has grown to become the largest credit union in New England and in the top 20 nationwide. With over 800,000 members in all 50 states, DCU stands committed to improving the lives of all its members by offering unparalleled products while retaining its members are our number one priority.