Our credit union was granted its charter on April 29, 1959, and founded as SUSD Federal Credit Union. Those eligible for membership were employees of the State University of South Dakota in Vermillion, retired university employees, credit union employees, and families of members. The credit union's name would be shortened to USD Federal Credit Union in 1964 when 'State' was dropped from USD's name.
The cost to open an account in 1959 was just 25 cents and a share of ownership was $5. Business hours were 2:00 to 4:00 on Friday's in one employee's office in Julian Hall on USD's campus, though he was happy to meet with members by appointment and savings deposits could be submitted through campus mail. The first year of operation saw the credit union reach 56 members, while posting an anticipated loss of $34.34.
Our field of membership grew in the following years to include members of other organizations and their families:
- 1960: Vermillion Independent School District employees.
- 1973: Employees of USD-Springfield, the United States government, the State of South Dakota, Clay County, and the City of Vermillion.
- 1976: Employees of USD in Madison, and St. Agnes School in Vermillion.
- 1983: Employees of Dakota Hospital and Southeastern Nursing Home.
- 1992: Employees of Elk Point School District.
With the continued growth of our credit union it was determined that a dedicated location was needed, and the USD Federal Credit Union would move into a rental property at 105 E. Cherry St. in 1989, which would be purchased outright by the credit union in 2000. This building would be demolished in 2008 with our current building constructed in its place.
2000 was also the year when our community charter was granted, opening membership to anyone who lives, works, attends school, or worships in Clay County, South Dakota. The name of the credit union became Vermillion Federal Credit Union to reflect this new standing. The field of membership would be expanded further in 2002 to include Dixon County, Nebraska, and then again in 2015 to include most of Union County, South Dakota.
In February 2022, we became the fourth credit union in South Dakota certified by the U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). This designation is available only to organizations that have proven they provide financial services and products in low-income communities and to people who lack access to affordable financing. CDFI Certification opened opportunities for our credit union to access CDFI Fund grants, allowing us to expand our efforts to support financially vulnerable residents and communities.
We have come a long way from being run out of a single volunteer's office, and we owe it all to our members!
Our current home
The check used to pay the charter fee in 1959
Document granting the charter
Recap of first year of operation
USD Federal Credit Union
Our previous building