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Federal Charter Vote Results

The Board of Directors of Del Norte Credit Union would like to announce the results of the member vote to convert the Credit Union’s charter from state to federal. The vote took place from April 1, 2023 to May 11, 2023. We are happy to announce that the majority of the members who voted approved the conversion from a state charter to a federal charter. The charter conversion vote was just the first step in the process that could take up to a year to complete and obtain final approval from the National Credit Union Association (NCUA). We appreciate your membership and thank you for voting.

More information about the charter conversion changes is 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 in New Mexico, and persons in contiguous states who are living or working within 150 miles of Raton, New Mexico, 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. DNCU’s mission is to improve lives of people in the communities we serve, and by converting to a federal charter and expanding our membership eligibility, we will be able to 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. Expansion will help us serve more people and communities. Additionally, by converting to a federal charter we can apply for a Low-Income Designation (LID) and a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Certification.

Low-Income Designation: A credit union may be designated as “low income” when a majority of its potential or actual membership has a family income that is 80 percent or less than the median family income for the metropolitan area in which 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.

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, and
  • 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 recommended 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 federally chartered credit union?

Federally chartered credit unions are regulated by the 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.

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 propose 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 perform their current duties in serving members.

What are the financial impacts of the charter change?

The Board of Directors and management are 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.