Credit unions to set up shop locally



POLK COUNTY -- Two credit unions have plans to open branch offices in Monmouth.

Oregon Federal Credit Union hopes to have its Monmouth office open by late November. Oregon Federal first will be temporarily housed at Central Plaza and then will build its own facility near the "S" curves on the Monmouth-Independence Highway.

Oregon State University Federal Credit Union has made an offer on a site near Bi-Mart. Pending final approval, OSU Federal hopes to have its new facility open sometime in the first quarter of 2003.

Anyone who lives, works in, goes to school in or worships in Polk County will be eligible to join either of the two new financial institutions.

"We already have some members there," said Carlyn Roy, OSU Federal vice president for corporate development.

"We realized there weren't any credit unions which had offices within the Monmouth, Independence or Dallas areas. The members we already had there weren't even able to go anywhere for a non-charge ATM.

"We had received requests from existing members and others in the area to put in a branch or an ATM. We've been looking at it for about a year, trying to find a solution to serve the community in Polk County."

Both organizations will offer a full range of services, including real estate loans, home equity loans, auto loans, credit cards, checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, investments services, internet banking, etc.

OSU Federal, which also is expanding into Lincoln county, was founded in 1954 and has assets of around $297 million and more than 35,000 members. It currently has offices in Albany, Lebanon, Corvallis (two) and Philomath.

Oregon Federal was founded in 1957.

It has averaged better than 15 percent annual growth rate for the past several years and now exceeds $120 million in assets and 15,000 members.

Other branch offices are located in Coquille, North Bend, Bandon, Reedsport, Coos Bay, Florence, Sutherlin and Ridgefield, Wash.

Oregon Federal also has plans to add branches in McMinnville and Newberg in the near future.

OSU Federal, meanwhile, also is aiming for a Dallas branch in late 2003 or early 2004.

"Competition is a good thing," said OSU Federal's Roy.

"People need to find the financial institution that best serves their needs. I believe our credit union can do that. We work hard to make sure we serve the needs of the entire household, not just a specific age group or income group. We design services to meet needs across the board."



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