NCUA offers new guide on starting a federal credit union

ALEXANDRIA, VA (September 15, 2014) — Thinking of starting a federal credit union? The National Credit Union Administration now has a new resource to help groups which would like to apply for a federal credit union charter.

The new Federal Credit Union Charter Application Guide offers step-by-step instructions to help prospective credit union organizers understand the size of the task ahead of them, to provide a clear understanding of what NCUA expects in a charter application and to plan for success.

“Starting a credit union is a tremendous undertaking, and people who take on this challenge need to understand what’s involved in this process,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “This new guide is essentially a roadmap to success, explaining in detail how to complete the process. It also helps organizers focus on key actions, from finding their niche in an increasingly complex and competitive marketplace and raising capital to preparing an effective application. The guide breaks this process down into manageable steps and helps both the agency and potential organizers more efficiently measure their prospects for reaching their goals.”

The guide includes answers to frequently asked questions about the amount of time required to obtain a charter, the amount of start-up capital necessary and the availability of consulting services from NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives. The chartering process is broken into five parts:

  • Part 1—Researching a federal charter, selecting a credit union name, establishing a field of membership, deciding what kind of charter to request and determining whether to seek a low-income designation.
  • Part 2—Identifying subscribers, securing funding for start-up costs, finding a location and surveying the potential membership.
  • Part 3—Finding support resources, identifying credit union officials and management, creating a business plan, deciding on what products and services to offer, management, recordkeeping, establishing policies and continuity planning.
  • Part 4—How NCUA acts on charter applications.
  • Part 5—Checklists, worksheets and sample forms.

The new guide can be found online with other chartering information on NCUA’s How to Start a Credit Union webpage. Interested parties needing additional information can contact the Office of Consumer Protection at 703-518-1140 or by email at

NCUA is the independent federal agency created by the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter and supervise federal credit unions. With the backing of the full faith and credit of the United States, NCUA operates and manages the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of more than 98 million account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions. At and Pocket Cents, NCUA also educates the public on consumer protection and financial literacy issues.


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