Joining a local credit union is an impactful way to do your banking and also support your local community. When you're a member of a local credit union, you not only get the benefit of lower rates than at a bank but also you get the benefit of keeping money within your city. If you're in Vanderburgh County and are interested in joining a credit union, you're in luck! Diamond Valley Federal Credit Union has been serving Evansville area residents for more than 40 years. Providing benefits to the local community has been a part of their mission from the very start. Check out their story:
What is the story of Diamond Valley Federal Credit Union?
The Whirlpool employees wanted their own credit union so they got together to figure out a good, safe place to keep their money and also to loan as well. That’s pretty much where we started, and we were actually part of the Whirlpool factory until we built our own building in 1968 on Diamond Avenue.
Our name was originally Whirlpool Employees Federal Credit Union. The funny part about our current name, “Diamond Valley Credit Union,” is that they constructed a post office in the late 1990s on Diamond Avenue and they named it Diamond Valley. I don’t think that name had ever been used before around town, but when we were looking for a new name in 1999 they felt like the name of the post office would be a good fit because this would be a good area to call Diamond Valley. So the name picked up its own light there.
What makes your credit union special?
The unique thing about a credit union is that in every aspect it is owned by members. Instead of having a bank owner or shareholders that make a profit, we take our profits and add them back into our members’ accounts as dividends. So basically, when we make money, our members make money as well.
One of the most unique things about us is that our rate structure gives us just about the lowest rates in town. The reason we can offer such low rates all goes back to the ownership model I mentioned before.
Another special aspect of our branches is the relationship we have with our members. You’d be amazed at how many members our branch managers and tellers know by name. There’s so much personal service here with Diamond Valley Credit Union. For example, I recently opened up an account for my daughter and it was account number 75,000. But at the same time, we have someone here whose account number is four. That just shows how we’ve grown, but also kept our members.
The idea of “Shop local, Bank local” and being a part of the local community is so important to us. With our credit union, not only are we lending out members’ money, but it’s local members. This helps out our local economy.
What is required for someone to take out a loan?
What we require is membership, of course. To be a member you must live, work, go to church, or go to school in Vanderburgh County. Or, you can be related to someone who lives here. It costs absolutely nothing to become a member. You may need to invest at least $5 to open an account, but membership is totally free. We’ll almost always have you come in and sign paperwork, and that way we can meet you one on one. We don’t want a member to take out a loan without us understanding exactly what they’re getting into. We pride ourselves on financial education because we want our members to be empowered to make good financial decisions.
Tell me more about your four branches?
We actually have two branches that are in retail areas, but our other two branches are uniquely situated as neighborhood branches. A lot of banks have been closing their neighborhood branches down, but one thing we’re finding is that a lot of residents enjoy having a local branch.
What do you love about your city?
It’s really unique here in Evansville. For instance, we had a tornado come through the southeast side of town in 2006 and there was just such an outpouring of help. Everyone came together and helped out the best they could. That unique community identity where people come pitch in wherever needed.
It’s such a cool and loyal community. There are so many fundraisers and things where people are linking arms for good.
What are the big dreams for Diamond Valley Credit Union?
Well, of course, we want to expand our membership. Our goal is to grow our membership because not only does this lead to more products and services that we can offer, but there are more chances to get our rates even lower.
When you’re a member, you’re not just a member but you’re an owner. We have an annual meeting where you can come and hear exactly what we’re doing, what our process is, and our plans for the future. This meeting was very well attended this past year. We want our members to be involved and up-to-date.
What stories would you like to share?
We partner with a local non-for-profit called Santa Clothes Club. They do a big telethon every year. They’ve been around since 1982 and they’ve raised more than seven million dollars and helped more than 88,000 kids with clothing. We’ve been doing fundraising this month for Christmas in July, and at one of our branches, they kept getting donations from people who had at one time been helped by the program or knew people who had been helped by the program. It’s beautiful that we can help people out and then see those same people turn around and help others.
We also work with a nonprofit called Hangers. They have a store full of donated clothes and they give to kids who can’t afford clothes for school. One of our big things is helping middle to low-income families in town. We focus on low-income members in our credit union. This goes along with the motto in other Indiana credit unions which is “people helping people."
What does it mean to you when people bank local?
It helps our community overall. We have so many great local restaurants and all these great districts of local businesses. It’s great when people use our Diamond Valley Credit Union card at those local businesses because then you really see the money cycling and not leaving the community. It’s really nice to see the local support. With our credit union, we all live here and work here. It’s cool that we can totally relate to our members because we know everything going on here.
Businesses like Diamond Valley Federal Credit Union make it easy to get into banking local. And, when you get into banking local, your whole community benefits. Find Diamond Valley Credit Union and other local Evansville businesses on Towny – the free app that helps you bank local and shop local.