A community development credit union (CDCU) is a credit union with a mission of serving low- and moderate-income people and communities. CDCUs specialize in serving populations with limited access to safe financial services, including low-income wage earners, recent immigrants, and people with disabilities.
The Federation has used the term community development credit union since our inception in 1974, when our founding credit unions developed it. Credit unions serving underserved communities and committed to supporting their members financial independence self-designate as CDCUs when joining the Federation.
As credit unions, CDCUs are:
- Nonprofit and tax-exempt (but not a charity)
- Cooperatively owned and governed — one member, one vote
- Regulated, fully-insured financial institutions
CDCUs specialize in providing:
- Fairly priced loans, including to members with imperfect, limited or no credit history
- A safe place to save and build assets
- A place to conduct transactions at reasonable cost
- Financial education and counseling for its members
- Products, services and support that can help members to free themselves from high-cost and predatory debt, gain control over their personal finances, and achieve economic well-being.
Every CDCU was founded on the belief that those who work hard deserve the opportunity to achieve financial security. Each CDCU can tell a story of beating the odds, helping the vulnerable, and pursuing a mission that is as large as the American Dream and as specific as the future of a single child.