The tradition of members helping members

continues to this day.

Our History

Citizens Equity First Credit Union (CEFCU) was founded in 1937 to serve employees of Caterpillar. During the Great Depression, it was difficult for people to get affordable loans, so a group of Caterpillar employees formed the Credit Union during their lunch hour by pooling together what little money they had in a cigar box. This money was used to make affordable loans to Credit Union members — with one member's savings used to help another member who needed a loan. That tradition of members helping one another continues to this day.

Since then, CEFCU has grown to a financial institution with more than $5 billion in assets. In addition to Caterpillar, CEFCU serves the employees of more than 500 partner companies. Individuals may also join CEFCU if they reside in a 14-county area in Central Illinois or if they live or worship in three counties in the Bay Area of California.

The increased diversity among members has enabled CEFCU to thrive even during difficult economic times. Today, CEFCU is not only a dominant financial institution in Central Illinois, but also one of America's largest community-based credit unions, serving more than 290,000 members in 50 states and several foreign countries.

More than 75 years have passed since that cigar box. CEFCU offers products ranging from Home Loans to Member Business accounts to Online Banking and Mobile Banking. That lunchroom table has been replaced with Member Centers and the Money Center 24® ATM Network. Through it all, CEFCU has remained a place where members just have it better.

If you would like more information about the benefits of CEFCU membership, please contact CEFCU.

CEFCU is chartered and regulated by the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions. Deposits at CEFCU are insured to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a U.S. Government Agency.