Credit Union Difference

The Credit Union Difference

Not for profit, but for service.

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives, owned by the people who save and borrow there. Every member has the right to vote for members of the credit union board. The majority of credit union boards are made up of volunteer members. 

Unlike most other financial institutions, credit unions do not issue stock or pay dividends to outside stockholders. Instead, earnings are returned to members in the form of lower loan rates, higher interest on deposits, and lower fees.

By current federal statute, credit unions cannot serve the general public. People qualify for a credit union membership through their employer, organizational affiliations like churches or social groups or a community such as Rockland County.

Our critics often claim that credit unions don't pay taxes. Credit unions do pay payroll taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes. Congress exempts credit unions from federal income taxes. The exemption was established in 1937, affirmed by statute in 1951, and reaffirmed in 1998 in H.R. 1151, the Credit Union Membership Access Act, which states:
"Credit unions, unlike many other participants in the financial services market, are exempt from Federal and most State taxes because credit unions are member-owned, democratically operated, not-for-profit organizations generally managed by volunteer boards of directors and because they have the specified mission of meeting the credit and savings needs of consumers, especially persons of modest means."

Palisades Federal Credit Union

Palisades Federal Credit Union, located in Pearl River, New York is Rockland County's first federally insured community chartered credit union to serve all those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Rockland County, New York.

PFCU has over 10,000 members who hold over $150 million dollars in assets. All members of our Board of Directors are volunteers.

Our credit union was founded in 1941 and originally only served employees of the Lederle Pharmaceutical Company, a division of American Cyanamid. Over the years the credit union grew to include family members of Lederle employees. In the mid to late 1990s we added several select employee groups and in May 2002 PFCU was granted its present community charter.

Product and Service offerings also grew from our first years in operation with the addition of checking and money market accounts right on through to a variety of mortgage offerings and MasterCard credit card and VISA debit products.

Today, PFCU provides a full array of financial products and services including a choice of checking accounts, online banking capabilities, electronic bill payment services, many types of consumer loans, adjustable rate mortgages, Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit, financial planning service and much more.

Our Commitment to Serving Our Members- We want to Make the Difference

Credit unions exist to help people, not make a profit. Our goal is to serve our entire membership well, including those of modest means. We also reach out to members or potential members who are unserved or underserved.

Our Commitment to Financial Education & Literacy

Promoting financial literacy has been a primary mission of credit unions since they were established. Edward A. Filene, the father of the American credit union movement in 1908 said, Credit unions are educational institutions. Our intent is to teach people wise money management skills they can use to make their entire lives better. We offer a financial advisor free of charge to our members and we also hold free seminars on financial management. We put together four newsletters a year (called Notes Bearing Interest) and monthly e-mail newsletters (called PFCUnews) which include information on financial topics, current promotions and new products and services.

Our Commitment to Community & The Credit Union Movement

Credit unions exist to serve all members equally, with dignity, respect and consideration. We strive to serve everyone who needs financial services within our membership and to be sensitive to the individual needs of the various cultures we serve. Employees and volunteers reflect the diversity of our members.

We make public our process of governance and we actively reach out to our membership for their volunteer participation and continued support during Board elections. We accomplish this by newsletter articles, press releases, e-mail marketing pieces, and by holding our annual meeting each year in a public setting.

Board, staff, and management training is actively encouraged to take various course work, which is part of everyones' goals. Besides continuing educational efforts, there is a strong commitment to our local New York State Credit Union League District of Westchester/Rockland County and its activities. Staff and board also attend state and national Credit Union conventions.

Palisades Federal Credit Union has hosted or has met with federal, state, local legislative representatives, and credit union board, staff, and other local credit unions; providing the opportunity to speak directly to these elected officials about those local and credit union issues that face our communities.

Our Commitment to Community & the Credit Union Movement

Credit unions don't just exist to provide financial services; we provide financial services for the purpose of improving lives. While our first responsibility is to our members, part of being a cooperative movement means looking beyond our walls to the larger community. This philosophy leads us to support worthwhile charitable and social causes and to work with other credit unions.

PFCU has reached out to our community by supporting and/or participating in the following events, programs and charities:

  • American Forests
  • Big Brothers / Big Sisters of America
  • Child Care Resources of Rockland
  • Clarkstown Summer Theatre
  • Corrections Officers Benevolent Association
  • Dominican College
  • Helen Hayes Hospital
  • Home Health Aides of Rockland
  • Jawonio
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  • March for Babies Walk (March of Dimes)
  • National Endowment Foundation Education (NEFE)
  • North Rockland High School's Academy of Finance summer intern program and groundhog shadow day
  • Nyack Halloween Parade
  • Pearl River Little League
  • People to People
  • PFCU George Hatala College Scholarship
  • Rockland County Association for the Learning Disabled
  • RCC Foundation College Scholarship
  • RCC International Students Program
  • Rockland Community College
  • Rockland County Sheriffs Deputies Association
  • Salvation Army
  • Salvation Army's Angel Tree Program
  • Pearl River St. Patrick's Day Parade
  • Tappan Players
  • United Way of Rockland County
  • Walk for Hunger
  • Youthfest
  • Participant in political and grassroots campaigns to promote and protect the credit union movement to policymakers
  • Sponsor of the National 6 hour Safe Driving Courses for members and community residents
  • Participant in New York State Credit Union League's College Scholarship Program
Palisades Federal Credit Union is committed to making a difference in our member's lives and to the Rockland County community.

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