South Carolina Federal Credit Union

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South Carolina Federal Credit Union
Type Credit union
Industry Financial services
Founded 1936
Headquarters North Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Products Savings; checking; consumer loans; mortgages; credit cards; online banking
Total assets $1.4B USD (2008)

South Carolina Federal Credit Union (or South Carolina Federal) is a credit union headquartered in North Charleston, South Carolina, that is supervised and insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. government. South Carolina Federal in June 2008 was one of the 100 largest credit unions in the nation by asset size.[1] As of October 2008, South Carolina Federal had over $1.4 billion USD in assets and over 156,000 active members.[2]

In 2007 and 2008, South Carolina Federal was recognized among the Best Places to Work in South Carolina.[3][4]


South Carolina Federal originated on Jan. 31, 1936, at the Charleston Naval Shipyard (Charleston Navy Yard) in North Charleston, S.C., when fourteen Navy Shipyard workers each contributed $5 (for a total investment of $70) to create the Navy Yard Employees Credit Union.

In 1960, the credit union changed its name to the Charleston Naval Shipyard (CNS) Federal Credit Union when its field of membership expanded to include Navy personnel who worked at the Navy Yard or were stationed/home-ported at the naval base. In 1965, CNS became the first credit union in South Carolina to have its own facility. By 1969, CNS opened its first branch on the Naval Station. Other branch locations quickly followed.

During the 1980s, CNS capitalized on legal changes that enabled credit unions to serve as full-service financial institutions. The NCUA during this time also allowed credit unions to open their fields of membership to "unlike groups," permitting CNS to accept members from groups or organizations beyond those associated with the Shipyard. These developments contributed to several smaller credit unions merging with CNS during the 80s. By the end of 1985, as CNS was nearing its 50th anniversary, it had assets of $221 million and served 103,844 members.

The U.S. Navy closed the Charleston Naval Shipyard and naval base on April 1, 1994, but CNS’ member base was robust enough that the credit union was able to withstand the loss. In recognition of the changed environment and the credit union’s broad membership, CNS changed its name on August 9, 1994, to South Carolina Federal Credit Union.

During the 1990s, South Carolina Federal expanded beyond the Charleston area for the first time, into Georgetown and Columbia, S.C. In 2003, South Carolina Federal changed its status from a select employer group to a community-chartered credit union. In May 2004, South Carolina Federal reached a major financial landmark when assets hit $1 billion.[5]


South Carolina Federal is a community-chartered credit union. This means South Carolina Federal can serve anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school within certain community boundaries as defined by the NCUA. (See “Membership” below.)

Credit unions are owned and governed by the people who use its services. Those people are called “members” and each member is an equal owner of the institution. Members elect and serve as the credit union’s volunteer board of directors, which establishes and reviews policies, based on what is best for the collective membership.

South Carolina Federal’s Supervisory Committee, made up of volunteers appointed by the board, is responsible to ensure that the credit union’s financial condition is presented accurately in financial statements and that management practices and procedures safeguard members' assets.


Specifically, membership in South Carolina Federal is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Dorchester, Georgetown or Orangeburg counties, and certain eligible areas of Richland and Lexington counties, S.C. Also eligible are those who have a relative that is a member of South Carolina Federal, or persons with at least one relative who meets the criteria for membership stated above. [“Relatives” include spouses, children (including adopted, foster and stepchildren), parents, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and members of the same household.]


South Carolina Federal is a full-service credit union that offers consumer and business products and services that are comparable to most larger financial institutions. Products and services include personal checking, savings, debit and credit cards and loans, and business checking, business savings, business debit and credit cards and business loans suitable for members who own small businesses. South Carolina Federal also offers free financial education workshops to its members, the public and businesses within its field of membership. Membership also includes free access to financial counseling services at BALANCE Financial Fitness Program.

As of November 2008, South Carolina Federal had 23 branches and 81 ATMs in the state of South Carolina. Members also had free access to over 26,000 CO-OP Network ATMs nationwide. South Carolina Federal offered online services and information 24-7 via its website,


In December 2007, South Carolina Federal was the second largest credit union (by asset size) in the state of South Carolina;[6] however, it was among numerous credit unions allowed by the NCUA to serve people in its field of membership. South Carolina Federal counts among its competitors other credit unions, such as Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union, and banks, such as First Federal Bank, that maintain a presence in the same local areas and offer a relatively comparable suite of products.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Retrieved Nov. 21, 2008.
  3. ^ Retrieved Nov. 21, 2008.
  4. ^ Retrieved Nov. 21, 2008.
  5. ^ Dabney, Eric, et al. Historic South Carolina: An Illustrated History. San Antonio, Texas: The South Carolina Historical Society, 2006.
  6. ^ Retrieved November 2, 2008.

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