When it formally goes online on Wednesday, the brand new Lakota Federal Credit Union in Kyle, S.D., will be the only financial institution to be found in over 3,400 square miles, according to Whitney O'Rourke, manager of the credit union.
Chartered back in August, the new credit union will serve residents and others who live and work on the Pine Ridge Reservation, one of the largest and poorest in the United States.
The new credit union, which has been granted a low income designation, will begin by offering a limited range of loans, including auto loans capped at no more than $5,000.
“That's enough money for the kinds of cars that people drive around here,” O'Rourke said. “This a pretty low-income area.”
Lakota FCU is sponsored by a community development financial institution, the Lakota Funds, and will have a potential membership of over 40,000 people, O'Rourke said.