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What is a Credit Union?

A credit union is a not-for-profit financial institution that is owned by its members.  By being owned by the members rather than a small group of individuals or investors, credit unions are uniquely capable of focusing their efforts on helping their members reach their financial goals by keeping services affordable.

Credit Unions, like CW, typically offer higher dividend rates and charge lower fees compared to banks.  We also provide more personalized service and build relationships with our members.  These efforts follow the credit union philosophy of members helping members.  

Mission Statement

Serve our Members' best interest.


CW old office

CommunityWide Federal Credit Union was founded in September of 1967 as the West Washington Association Federal Credit Union.  It was established with the primary purpose of providing high value financial services to persons of modest means in the near west side of South Bend, including financial counseling and education.  It depended on the efforts of concerned citizens and seed money from the Catholic Church to survive.

In September 1975, the credit union's name was changed to St. Joseph County Community Federal Credit Union.  At this time it became an associational credit union, serving members of the Urban League of South Bend and St. Joseph County. This made it possible to extend financial services to many more persons in the local area. The office was located at the southeast corner of Western and Walnut Street.

In October 1978, as a struggling credit union with only $250,000 in assets, it was moved to the Credit Union Service Center office at 740 S. Chapin Street and was placed under the service center's management.

By improving the facilities and services offered, the credit union was able to attract many new members and improve profitability. Through the acquisition of the assets of Allied Products Federal Credit Union in December 1980, the credit union base expanded even further.

In January 1982, White Farm (Oliver) and AMG Credit Unions were merged into Community (St. Joseph County) Federal Credit Union, which continued to be operated by Credit Union Service Center at the Chapin Street location.

The foresight of the credit union's directors helped the credit union grow to $1.7 million in assets, which while not being especially large for a credit union at that time, this combined unit was able to offer many new products and services that were never before possible.  The credit union flourished, growing several times over the next few years.

During the next several years, a number of credit unions decided to merge into Community (SJC) FCU. These credit unions served a number of area employee groups, including NIPSCO, U.S. Government Employees, Sibley, Mastic, and Wheel Horse.  These mergers contributed to the growth of the credit union but the response of the new members from the community provided for most of the asset growth during this period.

In 1985, the credit union's name was changed to CommunityWide Federal Credit Union. There have been many products, services, and facility changes since then. In retrospect, some may seem to be rather insignificant, but at the time were major steps into the future for the credit union.

CW continues to focus on providing high value financial services to our members and has enjoyed considerable expansion, now with eleven offices in the Michiana area, and over $400 million in assets.

CW ground breaking

























As we move into the future we will diligently seek to continually improve the products and methods of operation that we implement at CW.  We will strive to ensure efficient, personalized, and convenient services, on the cutting edge of technology while focusing on the needs of all our members.

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