The roughly 73,000 people who live in Wilmington, Del., will likely have another financial institution to choose from later this month when the first CU chartered in 2011 opens its doors.

The agency announced it had approved the charter of the Stepping Stones Federal Credit Union last week. When the newly chartered CU opens its doors, expected sometime later in October, the CU will offer multiple savings accounts and variety of loans, including signature loans, used auto loans and share-secured loans.

“I’m pleased to see the outstanding work of so many dedicated people result in a newly chartered credit union,” said NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz. “As Stepping Stones Federal Credit Union grows from this new foundation, NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives will offer assistance to help it prosper. It isn’t every day we see a new credit union chartered. I congratulate those who made this happen.”

The CU is sponsored by the Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, a Wilmington organization that works with lower income and underserved populations. The agency has already designated Stepping Stones as a low-income CU, allowing it accept non-member deposits, take part in the agency’s revolving loan program, offer secondary capital accounts and qualify for exemptions from the cap on member business loans.