South Jersey Federal Credit Union: People Over Profits

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On June 20, 1940, the organization now known as South Jersey Federal Credit Union was established to serve the employees of the former New York Shipbuilding Corporation. Since that time, the credit union’s name has changed, but the organization’s unwavering dedication to the financial well-being of its members has remained steadfast.  Today, Ernest Huggard, President and Chief Executive Officer, leads an executive team with more than 100 years of combined financial experience to offer all of the services provided by traditional banks, including free checking accounts, savings accounts and certificates, home mortgages, personal loans, and auto loans.

As a nonprofit organization, South Jersey Federal Credit Union passes earnings on to members in the form of lower rates on loans, higher rates on savings accounts, and lower fees. Members are also entitled to other unique perks, including Tuition Rewards to help finance college, discounts on a variety of products and services, and financial education programs. The credit union also processes loan applications locally, making decisions based on a member’s entire financial position, rather than a single score.

In fact, South Jersey Credit Union offers special Credit Builder loans specifically designed to help members establish or re-establish credit, and this spring, when COVID-19 began to take its economic toll, the credit union offered crisis loans to help members who had been affected by the pandemic. “We want our members to know that we’ll be there for them when they need us,” said Huggard. “Whether they’re recovering from a financial misstep or an unprecedented health crisis, we offer the support they need to get back on track.”

Not only does the credit union offer highly personalized, local service, but it also offers members the convenience they have come to expect from a financial institution. From direct deposit and free bill payment to a locally staffed call center and a network of over 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs, members can access and manage their funds virtually anytime, from any location. Members also have the peace of mind that comes with knowing their deposits are secured up to $250,000 by NCUSIF, with an additional $250,000 insured by Excess Share Insurance.

For business owners and managers who want to attract and retain outstanding employees, South Jersey Federal Credit Union makes it easy to offer a valuable benefit. When a company becomes a Select Employer Group, employees can take advantage of credit union offerings without impacting the company’s bottom line. “Business owners face difficult decisions every day, but becoming a Select Employer Group is an easy one,” explained Huggard. “There is no cost to the business, but employees are automatically qualified for credit union membership and the benefits that entails. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Members and Select Employer Groups have the added satisfaction of banking with a financial institution that serves its local communities. From scholarships for local high school students to fundraiser sponsorships to participation at local events, the credit union and its employees have consistently donated their time, resources, and funds to nonprofit organizations. The Kroc Center, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital, The Cooper Foundation, Parada San Juan Bautista, the ARC of Gloucester County, Acenda Integrated Health, AtlantiCare, and Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity are just a few of the worthy causes that have benefited from the credit’s support. “We’re happy to help the organizations that serve such a vital purpose in our community,” said Huggard. “Whether we’re helping one of our members or sponsoring a community program, South Jersey Federal Credit Union is committed to making a difference.”

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