Del Norte Credit Union (DNCU) Board of Directors unanimously recommends to the member-owners of Del Norte Credit Union to change our field of membership from a state-chartered credit union to a federally chartered credit union. This proposal will be acted upon at the annual meeting of the membership on May 11, 2023 by 6:15 pm MT when the voting will be closed.
As a member-owner, we are asking our eligible members to complete a ballot that will be in the March 2023 Quarter end statement. The paper ballot will be included in all paper statements, paper ballots must be mailed in the envelope provided in their statement. If you would like to vote securely online, please follow the link below.
Link to vote: https://dncu.cuballot.com
Members who receive estatements will receive a copy of the same ballot but not the reply envelope, so you may vote electronically.
We understand you may have questions, please see the FAQs below:
What is Del Norte’s current membership eligibility under a state charter?
Our current membership eligibility includes persons living or working in: Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, Taos, Colfax, Union, Harding, Mora, San Miguel, Torrance, Guadalupe, Quay, or Chaves Counties, New Mexico; persons in contiguous states that are living or working within 150 miles of Raton, subject to the rules and regulations of those contiguous states. Employees of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and members of the Del Norte LOV Foundation are also eligible to join.
Why is Del Norte proposing this change?
DNCU’s mission is to improve lives of the people in the communities we serve. Our membership eligibility is restricted to a small number of counties in New Mexico under the state charter. Converting to a federal charter will allow us to expand our field of membership and improve more lives.
Are there any member benefits of converting from a state-chartered credit union to a federally chartered credit union?
Updating our charter will not impact individual members. In fact, expansion will help us serve more people and communities, because converting to a federal charter will allow us to apply for two new designations: Low-Income Designation and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Certification:
1. Low-Income Designation: A credit union can be designated low income when a majority of the credit union’s potential or actual membership qualifies as low income, meaning their family income is 80% or less than the median family income for the metropolitan area where they live or for the national metropolitan area, whichever is greater. The term “low-income members” also includes those members enrolled as students in a college, university, high school, or vocational school.
2. Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Certification: Credit unions certified as CDFIs are eligible to apply for awards through a variety of programs administered by the CDFI Fund. These awards enable CDFIs to finance a wide range of activities, including:
- Mortgage lending for first-time homebuyers
- Flexible underwriting for community facilities
- Commercial loans for businesses in low-income areas
Why is a federal charter better for Del Norte than a state charter?
Del Norte’s Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team recommends this change because it will provide the flexibility for Del Norte to serve more members by adding additional geographic territories while retaining 100% of our current membership.
What is the difference between a state and federal chartered credit union?
Federal-chartered credit unions are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and a New Mexico state chartered credit union is regulated by the New Mexico Financial Institutions Division (FID). Most credit unions of Del Norte’s size operating in New Mexico are federally chartered credit unions.
Do members have to approve the change from a state to a federal charter?
Yes, each eligible Del Norte Credit Union member has one vote.
If approved, when will the conversion take place?
The NCUA will determine the actual date of the change. A conversion to a federal charter will not impact our current membership.
Will Del Norte Credit Union accounts still be federally insured?
Yes, your deposit accounts will continue to be federally insured by the NCUA.
Will there be any changes to my accounts or to the services that I use?
Your account numbers and services will remain the same.
Will the credit union’s name change?
No, we will continue as Del Norte Credit Union. However, Del Norte Credit Union will utilize “Del Norte Federal Credit Union” in communications with the NCUA and other government agencies and in any documents that purpose to bind Del Norte to legal responsibilities or obligations.
Will converting to a federal charter require any changes to the Board of Directors or management team?
No. Del Norte’s Board of Directors and management team will continue to fill their respective duties in serving members.
What are the financial impacts of the charter change?
The Board of Directors and management is confident that the short-term and long-term growth, profitability, and community opportunities associated with this proposed change will be positive for our members and the communities that we serve.