DFCU Financial Celebrates 70 Years

DFCU Financial Celebrates 70 Years
Dearborn Federal Credit Union (DFCU) has been serving the financial needs of its members for 70 years. Founded in 1950 when seven Ford Motor Company engineering employees pooled $5 together to start a credit union, today, DFCU has grown to become Michigan’s largest credit union with assets over $5 billion and a membership base of 229,852 across the US and in 35 foreign countries. 

Ford Engineering Employes Federal Credit Union started with a cigar box and $5 from each of the seven charter members and over the first 10 years offered only basic services like savings accounts and small consumer loans.

By 1954, the credit union’s name is changed to Ford Dearborn Federal Credit Union and in 1959 assets reach $8.5 million.  DFCU has long been recognized as an innovator in the credit union industry. In 1958, it became the first to launch a revolving signature loan.

The 60s brought a time of significant changes for Dearborn Federal Credit Union in addition to our name change which would eventually prepare us for the spending habits of the 70s. We now had two branches that were thriving with updated services.

In 1974, DFCU would become one of three credit unions nationally to pilot a share draft (checking account) program that would revolutionize the credit union movement. Another innovative concept co-founded by DFCU was Service Center Corporation in 1975. Service Center Corporation was the first shared credit union branching/ATM network in the county.

By 1978, membership had swelled to 100,000, and DFCU had introduced its first ATM. Recognizing the changing needs of its members, in 1984, DFCU began offering self-directed discount brokerage through its newly formed credit union service organization, Dearborn Financial Services (DFS).

The 1990s were an extremely important decade for DFCU. In 1996, it opened its first residential branch in Livonia, a suburb of Detroit. In 1997, DFCU surpassed $1 billion in assets. And in1999, DFCU introduced online account access and bill payment to members.

In 2000, after a lengthy search, Mark Shobe becomes President and CEO of Dearborn Federal Credit Union.
The 2000s signal a decade of expansion and growth for DFCU, including the name change, mergers and dividend payout. It also welcomed Financial Consultants and Mortgage officers into the branch environment. 

In, 2001, DFCU Financial Partners, the investment advisory services division, is introduced. After 19 years, FP has gone from 2 to 17 financial counselors with $1.8 billion assets under management for over 22,000 clients.

In 2003, Dearborn Federal Credit Union becomes DFCU Financial to reflect recent mergers with credit unions in Ann Arbor, Lansing and Grand Rapids.

DFCU Financial issues a special patronage dividend of $17 million in 2006, which is the first dividend issued in more the 20 years and the largest in the history of credit unions. DFCU Financial’s assets exceed $2 billion with record earnings for the year. Since then, DFCU has continued to pay this Cash Back of over $300 million to members each January. 

DFCU now serves 229,852 members at 31 branches around the lower peninsula. We are now open for membership to anyone who lives, works, goes to school or worships in the state. 


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While the DFCU Financial Board of Directors intends to pay Cash Back every year, and has done so since 2007, Cash Back is not guaranteed and will depend on our financial performance and other factors. Annual Cash Back payments are limited to an aggregate of $25,000 for each tax-reported owner. The IRS requires that Cash Back for an IRA be paid to the same IRA, and that it be open when Cash Back is deposited. Cash Back to Commercial / Business Banking members is subject to additional terms. Anyone who causes DFCU Financial a loss for any reason is not eligible for Cash Back.