Escondido Federal Credit Union

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Escondido Federal Credit Union

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On December 18, 1959, ten founding subscribers signed and submitted an Organization Certificate to the Bureau of Federal Credit Unions requesting establishment of Escondido City Employees Federal Credit Union. On December 28, 1959, the Bureau of Federal Credit Unions granted approval and Escondido City Employees Federal Credit Union was granted a federal charter with the par value of shares at $5.00 and the field of membership limited to those having the following common bond: Employees of the City of Escondido, California, who work therein; employees of this credit union; members of their immediate families; and organizations of such persons.

Once located in the tiny basement of 100 Valley Boulevard, the Credit Union grew along with the City and as of 1985 had approximately 710 members and $1,611,809.14 in assets. In 1988, Escondido City Employees Federal Credit Union moved into the newly constructed City Hall at 201 North Broadway. On March 9, 1994, Escondido City Employees Federal Credit Union officially became Escondido Federal Credit Union when the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) granted approval of the credit union's request for a name change.

In December 1999, Escondido Federal Credit Union was granted an amendment to the originally chartered membership to include the following common bond: Employees, registered volunteers, and elected and appointed officials of the City of Escondido, California, who work in Escondido, California; Members of the Escondido Police Department Reserves who work in Escondido, California; Employees and registered volunteers of the California Center for the Arts, who work in Escondido, California.

In order to accommodate the expansion of membership that came with the approval of the amendment of original charter, renovations of 2261 E. Valley Parkway began in March 2000. Escondido Federal Credit Union opened the doors of the Administrative Branch in April 2001 which also featured a convenient drive-thru ATM kiosk.

Today, Escondido Federal Credit Union continues to operate under the same Credit Union principals and guidelines set forth by the founding ten subscribers. EFCU continues to look out for members' interests and provide a level of service that is not generally available at other financial institutions. Whether it's providing a loan to help a member cover unexpected medical bills, giving financial counseling, or simply offering a better deal on a used car loan, Escondido Federal Credit Union makes a difference for its members. 

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Cooperative Alliances Committee developed seven cooperative principles that reflect this commitment to serving members and their communities. These principles were inspired by the Rochdale Principles, which were named after the first successful co-op, founded in Rochdale England in the 1840s.

  1. Voluntary Membership
    Credit unions are voluntary, cooperative organizations, offering services to people willing to accept the responsibilities and benefits of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

    Many cooperatives, such as credit unions, operate as not-for-profit institutions with volunteer board of directors. In the case of credit unions, members are drawn from defined fields of membership.
  2. Democratic Member Control
    Cooperatives are democratic organizations owned and controlled by their members, one member one vote, with equal opportunity for participation in setting policies and making decisions.
  3. Members' Economic Participation
    Members are the owners. As such they contribute to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits membership in proportion to the transactions with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested.

    For credit unions, which typically offer better rates, fees and service than for-profit financial institutions, members recognize benefits in proportion to the extent of their financial transactions and general usage.
  4. Autonomy and Independence
    Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If the cooperative enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the member and maintains the cooperative autonomy.
  5. Education, Training and Information
    Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of the cooperative.

    Credit unions place particular importance on educational opportunities for their volunteer directors, and financial education for their members and the public, especially the nation's youth. Credit unions also recognize the importance of ensuring the general public and policy makers are informed about the nature, structure and benefits of cooperatives. 
  6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
    Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, state, regional, national, and international structures.
  7. Concern for Community
    While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities, including people of modest means, through policies developed and accepted by the members.

These seven principles are founded in the philosophy of cooperation and its central values of equality, equity and mutual self-help. They express, around the world, the principles of human development and the brotherhood of man through people working together to achieve a better life for themselves and their community.