By industry standards, Monmouth Federal Credit Union is considered a small credit union with assets of $18 million.

To its current members, being small is just fine. They love the small town feel and personalized attention that has been the cornerstone of the credit union since it opened its doors in 1953.

“We know our members by name,” said Cat Blais, the president and CEO of Monmouth FCU, taking pride that her members are not simply numbers. “We are here to serve our members in every way possible.”

With locations at 1176 Main Street in Monmouth and 19A Patten Road in Greene, the credit union currently has 2,600 members.

“Our credit union is owned by its members, literally,” said Blais. “When the credit union does well, it shares its gains with the members. We are not in the business of giving bonuses to stock holders.”

She explained that credit union members elect the board that governs and it is the board that directs policies and procedures. Traditionally, credit unions have higher deposit rates, lower loan rates and less fees for its members.

“At Monmouth Federal Credit Union, our knowledgeable staff is always available to answer any questions that members might have. If they are looking for a new car, recreational vehicle, or simply a better way to bank, we urge people to come in and see us,” said Blais.

The credit union offers an array of products covering most banking needs, including deposit accounts with shares, share draft, clubs, and certificates.

Loans are available for autos, home/home equity, recreational vehicles, business collateral, other secured, as well as signature/unsecured loans.

Member services include Visa debit cards, iTalk (formerly known as Teller-Phone), money orders, online banking, mobile banking, notary public, and reconciliation. Through their Shared Banking network, members can actually transact business directly from any partnering credit union in the country.

Through an arrangement with the Insurance Trust, the credit union offers members access to an impressive list of financial and insurance services which even includes pet insurance.

Blais said that the members are loyal to the credit union, having trusted them for many years. In future years she would like to see more family members and children join the credit union family.

She takes great pride in a seasoned staff that knows the business well. Both Blais and Vice President Charlene Vannah have worked their way through the credit union ranks, both having started as tellers. Within the next year, the management team will become certified financial counselors through the Credit Union National Association.

“This will be a specialized service that we can offer free to members,” said Blais.

Blais feels that the Monmouth Federal Credit Union is at a crossroads in its growth and development. She describes it by saying that they are poised for growth.

“In the coming months, we will expand the range of our online banking services,” said Blais. “Our members are asking for the technological advancements for their banking and we are ready to put them into place.”

At a recent retreat, the credit union board of directors set a goal to increase their participation in the community.

“We are strong supporters of the Monmouth Community Players who perform in Cumston Hall,” said Blais. “We are also very involved in the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger, a statewide effort that brings contributions back to the local level to help programs in our communities.”

In 2014, the statewide hunger fighting campaign raised $552,257.43.

Blais also noted that they are involved with the Norm Nolette Chapter of Credit Unions Financial Fitness Fair, a program that educates high school students on the importance of budgeting for household expenses based on a chosen career income.

While both Monmouth Federal Credit Union locations are in rural settings, they continue to be a vibrant part of the communities they serve in Greene, Litchfield, Wales, Monmouth, Leeds and Turner.

While taking photos to accompany this article, an elderly gentleman, perhaps in his 70s, stopped by the door to watch the credit union staff smiling for a group photo.

“It is nothing new for these folks to have a smile on their faces,” said the gentleman. “They always have a smile on their faces.”

For more information, go to monmouthfcu.com or call 207-933-2667 in Monmouth or 207-946-2463 in Greene.


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