What is a Credit Union?

A Credit Union is a non-profit financial cooperative operating solely for the benefit of its members. Savings, or Shares, are pooled together, to build a fund for members to borrow from at low interest rates.

Unlike other financial institutions, Credit Unions are governed by volunteer members, so overhead costs are kept to a minimum, and profits (less operating expenses), are returned to our members via better savings and loan rates.

Our Credit Union

Empire Federal Credit Union was formed under Federal Law on February 13, 1950, and is supervised by the National Credit Union Administration, a Federal Government Agency. The credit union has changed its name twice to reflect mergers and expanded membership: to Empire Tel-Com in 1983 and Empire in 1996.

Today, we have five offices (two in Syracuse, and one each in Fulton, Binghamton, and Pulaski), conveniently located to serve over 42,000 members.

How To Join

Today there are over 400 companies in our field of membership. To see if your company is already in our field of membership, please email Empire Federal Credit Union.

Also included are:

  • Retirees and annuitants of our member companies
  • Immediate Family or Household Family
    Immediate Family: Spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent or grandchild, step children, step parents, step siblings, and adopted children. Household: Persons living in the same residence and who maintain a single economic unit.
  • Spouses of deceased members
  • Clubs and organizations of our member companies
  • Employees of the Credit Union

Lifetime Membership

Once you become a member of Empire FCU, you retain full borrowing and savings privileges for life. So employees who terminate employment from a company within our field of membership, or move to another location, retain lifetime use of Empire FCU services. Members can continue to use Empire FCU services nationwide through our toll-free number, EMPIRE EXPRESS Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Card, DANA -- our automated phone system, PC Teller Internet banking, Credit Union Shared Service Centers, or through the mail, with a VISA Debit Card or through our homepage at www.empirecu.org.

Who Controls the Credit Union?

Since a Credit Union is member-owned, officials are elected from our members, by the members, each year. These volunteers serve on the Board of Directors (and other appointed committees), which oversee the general direction of the Credit Union operations and establish guidelines and policies. A Supervisory Committee is appointed to examine and audit Credit Union records, and audits are performed annually by the National Credit Union Administration, a federal government agency.

Credit Union offices are managed and staffed by paid professionals.