It’s tough for credit unions to stand out and win over potential members in today’s competitive market. But these credit unions might have an advantage, simply because of their names.
Click through this slideshow to find out what’s behind eight of the most unique credit union monikers, and feel free to use the “Comment” function to add your own contributions to the list.
1. Quiet Corner Community Credit Union ($1.7 million, Putnam, Conn.)
This name evokes thoughts of a library or another calm place for reading or studying. Is this credit union’s service area really that low-key? Apparently so, according to its website. Putnam is located in the northeast corner of Connecticut, also known as the “Quiet Corner,” and is home to small businesses such as antique shops. The 600-member Quiet Corner Community CU is open to anyone who lives, works or worships in the five towns that comprise the state’s Quiet Corner.
2. Magic Valley Federal Credit Union ($6.2 million, Twin Falls, Idaho)
This credit union must be where miracles occur, right? For those not from Idaho, Magic Valley in fact refers to an eight-county region in the south-central part of the state. The nickname “Magic Valley” came about when the construction of several dams and irrigation canal systems along the Snake River “magically” transformed an uninhabited area into a region with thriving communities. The credit union serves 1,200 members in the Magic Valley.
3. Mile High Federal Credit Union ($20.4 million, Butte, Mont.)
A credit union for airline pilots and flight attendants, perhaps? And it’s not even in Denver, a place typically associated with that nickname. Mile High FCU is actually based in a place where the elevation is high – Butte, Mont. The credit union said its name is based on the fact that the city of Butte sits one mile above sea level. There are 2,300 members affiliated with Silver Bow County currently belonging to the credit union. Mile High FCU emphasizes the soaring theme with an image of an eagle flying above a mountain range in its newsletter logo.
4. Guardian Angel Credit Union ($40.9 million, Berlin, N.H.)
Given its name, this credit union must want members to know they’re being watched over (or, at least that their finances are in good hands). When it opened in 1929, this credit union’s original employment group comprised the French-speaking members of the Guardian Angel Parish, a church located next door to the credit union. Guardian Angel CU now serves 4,600 members living or working within a 50-mile radius of Berlin, N.H.
5. Forest Area Federal Credit Union ($88.3 million, Fife Lake, Mich.)
This credit union first opened in Fife Lake in 1983 at a place run and frequented by lovers of the outdoors – Larr’s Sporting Goods store. Tucked away in lower Michigan’s woodsy northwest corner near Lake Michigan, it would move locations twice in the next decade, to Fife Lake’s original bank building in 1985 and to its current location in a different building in 1993. Today, with services such as mobile banking, financial education and an interactive online banking site, Forest Area FCU ensures its 11,000 members won’t be left out in the woods.
6. Cutting Edge Federal Credit Union ($39.4 million, Milwaukie, Ore.)
The name implies that this credit union – or its members, or both – is forward thinking and progressive, but “cutting edge” is more literal than you might think. Cutting Edge FCU began in 1953 as Chipper Chain FCU and served the employees of chainsaw parts manufacturing company Chipper Chain. Now, its 3,800 members are affiliated with a number of primarily manufacturing companies including Blount Inc., Pacific Scientific-OECO, Day Wireless, Bob’s Red Mill, CriterionBrock and ATK. But, the credit union says “cutting edge” is also in fact a reference to what it offers members – although it’s a small credit union, it strives to match the big guys in terms of products and services.
7. Chocolate Bayou Community Federal Credit Union ($90.8 million, Alvin, Texas)
What sounds like a cross between candy and swampy land is in fact the name of an actual bayou near Alvin, which contains water that’s “the color of chocolate candy and is as muddy as can be,” said credit union President/CEO Gary Davis. The credit union started in 1962 as Monsanto Chocolate Bayou FCU to serve the employees of Monsanto Chemical Company, and the company’s plant was located right on the Chocolate Bayou. Today, it has 17,100 members in Brazoria County, located just off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
8. Tip of Texas Federal Credit Union ($24.7 million, El Paso, Texas)
This catchy name is a nod to the credit union’s location in El Paso, which is on the western tip of the state of Texas, right on the Mexican border. The credit union became Tip of Texas FCU in 2006, when it was renamed from SPUR FCU to better illustrate the fact that its field of membership stretched beyond Southern Pacific United Railroad employees (in fact, the railroad company had been bought out). The credit union now has around 5,600 members in the El Paso area.