About Liberty Federal Credit Union
Liberty Federal Credit Union is a member-owned financial institution focused on returning value through innovative products and services. Liberty has been recognized on a state level by Forbes as one of Indiana’s best financial institutions. In recent years, the credit union has also received acclaim on a national level, including being named the nation’s Best Credit Union for Checking by Investopedia in 2021 and appearing on Newsweek’s list of America’s Best Banks in 2022.
Among Liberty FCU’s most innovative products is its Vertical Checking. This free checking account offers a high interest rate of 3.45% APY on balances up to $20,000, plus reimbursement for usage fees paid when using any ATM worldwide up to $15 per month. However, Liberty Federal Credit Union similarly excels in providing value through better loan options for borrowers. For instance, the credit union offers an uncommonly wide variety of mortgage options to ensure the best fit for its members. According to the American Credit Union Mortgage Association, Liberty FCU was the Midwest’s top credit union in 2021 total first mortgage originations. Nationally, we ranked eleventh.
Headquartered in Evansville, Indiana, Liberty FCU offers a wide footprint of branch locations throughout southern Indiana, western Kentucky, and the Greater Nashville area in Tennessee. However, the credit union currently serves more than 270,000 members across all fifty states and at least eight countries.
The Origins of Liberty Federal Credit Union
Evansville, Indiana, like the rest of the country, was beginning to recover from the depths of the Depression in the mid-1930s when several teachers decided to pool their savings to generate much-needed loans for their fellow workers and themselves in 1936. These educators, representing the Board of Education and Evansville College in Evansville, Indiana, now known as the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation and the University of Evansville, founded Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union.
However, the credit union’s reach quickly began to expand beyond the schools. In the 1960s, ETFCU relocated operations from a classroom setting to the Reed Building on Washington Avenue. In 1979, it purchased a new headquarters on Theater Drive as the first step toward becoming a full-service financial institution. Over the following years, Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union increased its hours of operation into the school day and expanded its staff beyond the educational field. It added new products, including certificates and checking accounts, as well as drive-through service and its first ATM. By the end of the 1980s, ETFCU was serving members with branch locations throughout southern Indiana.
ETFCU continued to add educational groups in southwestern Indiana and western Kentucky to its field of membership. Beginning in the late 1990s, the credit union began accepting other employment groups and organizations unrelated to the educational field so that their employees and members might also benefit from the “People Helping People” philosophy.
By 2010, ETFCU served more than 50,000 members. Throughout that decade, the credit union began to add branches at an accelerated rate to serve its rapidly growing membership, extending farther into Kentucky and as far south as the Greater Nashville area. By 2020, ETFCU served more than 220,000 members.
In 2022, with a membership of 270,000 members and more than $3 billion in assets, ETFCU changed its name to Liberty Federal Credit Union.
What is a credit union?
Credit unions, unlike other financial institutions, are not for profit. They exist only to serve the financial needs of their members. The credit union idea originated in Germany in the mid-1800s when Frederick Raiffeisen, mayor of a small town, became appalled at the poverty of small farmers. He encouraged farmers to pool their money to make loans to each other to escape the hold of the local money lenders.
This “People Helping People” philosophy quickly spread to other parts of the world. The first U.S. credit union opened its doors in 1909 in New Hampshire. After the passage of the Federal Credit Union Act in 1934, allowing credit unions to be organized through the country, the idea was enthusiastically accepted throughout the United States. Today, credit unions constitute a modern, sophisticated financial system, but their purpose is still to meet the financial needs of the average consumer.
How are credit unions different from other financial institutions?
As not-for-profit institutions, credit unions return profit to members in the form of excellent rates on savings and loans and low service fees. Each member age 16 and older may vote to elect the volunteer board members who establish policies regarding shares, loans, investments, and the general operations of the credit union.
Annual Percentage Yield accurate as of September 5, 2022. Rate subject to change. Fees or other conditions could reduce earnings on the account. Minimum $25 required to open. Contact an employee for further information about applicable terms and fees. Applicable on balances up to $20,000. 3.45% APY dividend or 500 ScoreCard bonus points will not be paid if all services are not used or if fewer than 15 debit purchases post in the month. Debit transactions typically post within two business days and may vary based on merchant processing. ATM transactions do not qualify as debit card purchases. ScoreCard points are not rewarded on purchases from Vertical Checking. Online and mobile banking logins and eStatements enrollment are reported and counted the next business day. To help you balance your checkbook, click here to open a check reconciliation form along with error resolution notification information. Must meet account requirements to receive ATM fee reimbursement. ATM fee reimbursement limited to $15 per account per month. Fees reimbursed based on transaction details obtained by the ATM provider.