With everything happening in and around Ukraine these days, we want to make one thing perfectly clear. Deposits (or shares) at all U.S. chartered, federally-insured banks and credit unions are covered up to $250,000. That, of course, includes the following 12 credit unions that cater to Ukrainian communities here in the United States.
5-Star Self Reliance New York FCU, New York, NY was established in 1951, not long after the start of the Cold War. It was sponsored by the New York branch of the Selfreliance Association of American Ukrainians, to help promote and maintain a thriving Ukrainian American Community, preserve their cultural heritage and provide social service assistance as needed.
Today, with 15,000 members and $1.5 billion in assets, Self Reliance NY FCU is the oldest and largest Ukrainian credit union in the U.S. and perhaps the world.
The second largest is 5-Star Selfreliance FCU, Chicago, IL which has much higher membership at 24,400 but a much smaller asset size of $787 million. It too was established in 1951. From its website:
“Selfreliance Federal Credit Union is a democratic financial cooperative, operated by its members for the benefit of the members and the community. Selfreliance FCU supports the efforts of its members in establishing cultural and social organizations. These institutions maintain the integrity of the community while supporting growth in Credit Union membership.”
What began with a few volunteers who were happy to discover that credit unions existed in the United States, has turned into a sprawling, nine-branch entity covering Ukrainian neighborhoods in Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey. Learn more about the Selfreliance Foundation.
Membership to 5-Star SUMA Yonkers FCU, Yonkers, NY is exclusive to the Ukrainian-American Youth Association and parishioners of St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church, both of which are in Yonkers. In addition to Yonkers, however, some of SUMA’s 7,000 members hale from New Haven and Stamford, Connecticut. Total assets are butting up to $405 million at this 58 year old institution.
Established in 1952, 5-Star Ukrainian Selfreliance FCU, Feasterville, PA is the largest of the U.S. credit unions serving the greater Philadelphia area all the way into Trenton, NJ. With 12,000 members and $400 million in assets, Ukrainian Selfreliance is an integral part of life for many Ukrainian immigrants and their families.
Also established in 1952, 5-Star Ukrainian Selfreliance Michigan FCU (USMFCU), Warren, MI, is much smaller with $132 million in assets, but just as important to its 3,900 members. USMFCU’s homepage has this to say, which we feel is worth repeating for all of these U.S. credit unions.
“The calamity unfolding in the peaceful, sovereign and democratic Ukraine does not have an impact on business operations or your funds at Ukrainian Selfreliance Michigan Federal Credit Union...Your funds remain secure and insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).”
4-Star Ukrainian FCU, Rochester, NY was established a year later (1953). With branches extending as far west as Washington and Oregon, it serves nearly 23,000 members and boasts $335 million in assets.
In 2018, in honor of its 65th anniversary, Ukrainian FCU performed 65 acts of kindness. These acts ranged from gift bags for orphans and children of fallen soldiers to renovation of the community library. It was all done in the credit union spirit of ‘people helping people’.
Originally chartered in 1960 as Self Reliance (Passaic, NJ) FCU, this New Jersey Ukrainian credit union acquired another: Self Reliance (Elizabeth, NJ) FCU in 1997 and changed its name in 2016. Today, membership at 5-Star Nova UA FCU, Clifton, NJ is approaching 4,000 and total assets $138 million. Nova UA FCU has earned Bauer’s highest (5-Star) rating since 1990.
After several attempts, the 4-Star Ukrainian Selfreliance New England, Wethersfield, CT was finally chartered in 1959. After a slow start, the community warmed up to the idea that a Ukrainian credit union was good for the whole Ukrainian community, not just its members.
Two new branches were eventually established (2005 in Westfield, Massachusetts and 2006 in New Britain, Connecticut) to serve new Ukrainian immigrants in those areas. With membership approaching the 3,000 mark, total assets are still below $45 million.
Unlike the others, 5-Star Ukrainian National FCU, New York, NY was chartered in 1965 specifically to serve members of Ukrainian Churches and related organizations. In fact, its original name was Ukrainian Orthodox FCU. Covering the New York and New Jersey areas, this limited field of membership did not stunt its growth.
Its membership is approaching the 6,000 mark and total assets are $157 million.
5-Star Cleveland Selfreliance FCU, Parma, OH was originally chartered as an Ohio state credit union. After two acquisitions in the 1980’s it changed to a federal charter in 1994. Federal or state, it was created to serve the Ukrainian-American Community. Today, with over 3,000 members, Cleveland Selfreliance FCU has more than $100 million in assets. It has three offices convenient for its membership in Parma, North Canton and Lorain, Ohio.
Also vital to their communities are two smaller credit unions. In 1955 the Ukrainian community of Baltimore formed the Self Reliance Association of American Ukrainians which, in turn, made it a priority to create the credit union that is now 4-Star Self Reliance Baltimore FCU, MD. With just over 1,000 members and just under $20 million in assets, it is one of the smaller Ukrainian-American CUs.
And the smallest credit union catering to Ukrainian-Americans is 4-Star Ukrainian Selfreliance of Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, PA. Established in 1973, this Pittsburgh credit union reported 653 members at September 30, 2021 and just $6.374 million in assets.
All of these credit unions are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Member deposits (or shares) are insured to $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government