If you live or work in the Puget Sound region, you may have heard of Sound Federal Credit Union (SFCU). As a member-owned financial cooperative, SFCU offers a wide range of banking services, from savings and checking accounts to loans and credit cards, to help you manage your money and achieve your goals. In this article, we’ll explore what makes SFCU different from other banks, how to join and use its services, and what benefits you can expect as a member.
What is Sound Federal Credit Union?
Sound Federal Credit Union was founded in 1940 by a group of employees of the Naval Supply Depot in Seattle, who wanted to create a credit union to serve their financial needs. Since then, SFCU has grown to over 25,000 members, who belong to a diverse range of communities and professions, such as healthcare, education, technology, and government. SFCU is based in Tacoma, WA, and has six branches across the region, as well as online and mobile banking services.
What makes Sound Federal Credit Union unique?
As a credit union, Sound Federal Credit Union is different from banks in several ways. First, SFCU is a non-profit organization, which means that it doesn’t aim to maximize its profits but to serve its members’ interests. Second, SFCU is owned and controlled by its members, who elect a board of directors to oversee the credit union’s operations and policies. This gives members a voice in how SFCU operates and distributes its earnings, which are returned to members in the form of lower fees, higher interest rates, and better services. Third, SFCU is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which means that your deposits are protected up to $250,000 per account, just like the FDIC for banks.
How to join Sound Federal Credit Union?
To join Sound Federal Credit Union, you need to meet its eligibility criteria, which are based on your residency, employment, or affiliation with a select group. For example, you can become a member of SFCU if you live, work, worship, or attend school in certain counties in Washington, such as Pierce, King, or Thurston. You can also join SFCU if you work for a partner organization, such as MultiCare Health System, or if you are related to a current member. To apply for membership, you need to fill out an online or paper application, provide your personal information, and deposit at least $5 into a savings account, which represents your ownership share of the credit union. Once you become a member, you can access all of SFCU’s services and benefits.
What services does Sound Federal Credit Union offer?
Sound Federal Credit Union offers a variety of financial services to meet your needs and preferences. Here are some of its most popular services:
- Savings accounts: SFCU offers various types of savings accounts, such as regular savings, youth savings, holiday club, and money market accounts, which earn competitive interest rates and have no monthly fees. You can set up automatic transfers, make deposits or withdrawals online or at a branch, and track your balance and transactions with online and mobile banking tools.
- Checking accounts: SFCU offers two types of checking accounts, Sound Checking and Sound Rewards, which both come with features such as debit cards, online bill pay, overdraft protection, and mobile deposit. Sound Rewards also earns cash back on qualifying purchases and ATM fee refunds.
- Loans: SFCU offers a wide range of loans, such as auto loans, home loans, personal loans, and credit cards, with flexible terms, low rates, and no hidden fees. You can apply for a loan online