About OSCU

Since 1950, we at Ocean State Credit Union have aimed to provide our members with sound, simple financial solutions. In that time we have evolved, and our offerings have been designed to meet the ever-changing needs of our members. From those humble beginnings, Ocean State Credit Union has grown to become a statewide credit union offering, safe, secure products and services. With four branches located from Coventry to North Kingstown and border-less online and mobile banking, Ocean State Credit Union has become a financial resource to people seeking the best in personalized service and smart banking products.

Ocean State Credit Union is a company steeped in tradition that we deeply value and embrace. At the same time, we are committed to growing our offerings to meet your needs, and will continue to do so for years to come. Honoring tradition while we prepare for the future, we continue to expand our services to help take your banking experience to the next level.

Our Mission: To promote a cooperative spirit within the community and to respond to changing member needs, consistent with sound financial practices.

How to Become a Member of Ocean State Credit Union

Become a member of Ocean State Credit Union and take advantage of all that we have to offer. Simply visit one of our convenient locations and open a Member Share Account with a minimum mainatained balance of $5.00. Speak to one of our friendly and knowledgable Member Service Representatives by calling 401-397-1900 or 877-397-1900. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Share Account

  • Deposits can be made in person at any branch location, by mail, direct deposit or via our online banking service.
  • Dividends are paid and compounded quarterly.
  • A minimum of $10.00 is required to earn the annual percentage yield (APY).

Credit Union vs. Banks

Credit unions are financial cooperatives formed by an organized group of people with a common interest. Members of credit unions pool their assets to provide loans and other financial services to each other.

Credit unions differ from other banks in several ways:

credit union vs bank comparison
Credit Unions Financial Institutions
Not-for-profit cooperatives Owned by outside stockholders
Owned by members Owned by outside stockholders
Operated by mostly volunteer boards Controlled by paid boards

These factors allow credit unions to pay dividends to their members (not shareholders) and offer them lower loan rates, higher savings rates and fewer service fees.

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is the federal agency that charters and supervises federal credit unions. They also insure savings in federal and most state-chartered credit unions across the United States through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), a federal fund backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

 

What is the Credit Union Difference?

New federal laws and regulations are changing the structure and face of the financial services industry. In this time of accelerating change, it is important to truly understand how credit unions are unique and different, and why we remain a necessary financial alternative for more than 87 million Americans.

  • Not-for-profit. Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives. We exist to serve our members, not to make a profit. Unlike most financial institutions, credit unions do not issue stock or pay dividends to outside stockholders. Instead, earnings are returned to our members in the form of lower loan rates, higher interest on deposits, and lower fees.
  • Taxation. Credit unions do pay taxes - payroll taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes. Congress exempts credit unions from federal income taxes. The exemption was established in 1937, affirmed by statute in 1951, and re-affirmed in 1998 in H.R. 1151, the Credit Union Membership Access Act, which states:
    Credit unions, unlike many other participants in the financial services market, are exempt from Federal and most State taxes because credit unions are member-owned, democratically operated, not-for- profit organizations generally managed by volunteer boards of directors and because they have the specified mission of meeting the credit and savings needs of consumers, especially persons of modest means."
  • Ownership. Credit unions are an economic democracy. Each credit union member has equal ownership and one vote -- regardless of how much money a member has on deposit. At a credit union, every customer is both a member and an owner.
  • Boards of Directors. Each credit union is governed by a board of directors, elected by and from the credit union's membership. 
  • Membership Eligibility. By current federal statute, credit unions cannot serve the general public. People qualify for a credit union membership through their employer, organizational affiliations like churches or social groups, or a community-chartered credit union.
  • Financial Education for Members. Credit unions assist members to become better- educated consumers of financial services. Additionally, the Credit Union National Association or CUNA is partnering with the National Endowment for Financial Education, a not-for-profit foundation, to expand financial education amongst high school students. A national study shows that just ten hours of personal finance education can positively affect students' spending and savings habits for a lifetime.
  • Social Purpose: People Helping People. Credit unions exist to help people, not make a profit. Our goal is to serve all of our members well, including those of modest means - every member counts. Our members are fiercely loyal for this reason. They know their credit union will be there for them in bad times, as well as good. The same people-first philosophy causes credit unions and our employees to get involved in community charitable activities and worthwhile causes - just ask us.

Credit Union History

The history of credit unions began in 1844, with a group of weavers in Rochdale, England, who established the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers. They sold shares to members to raise the capital necessary to buy goods at lower than retail prices, and then sold the goods at a savings to members. In doing so, they became the first credit union.

The movement then spread to Germany in 1850, Canada in 1901 and the United States in 1908.The success of the cooperative movement in Canada influenced many Americans, including Pierre Jay, the Massachusetts banking commissioner, and Edward Filene, a Boston merchant.

Jay and Filene helped organize public hearings on credit union legislation in Massachusetts, leading to passage of the first state credit union act in 1909. However, fewer than 10 states passed credit union laws, and the growth of the Massachusetts Credit Union Association very slow. In 1921, Filene created the Credit Union National Extension Bureau, to work towards establishing effective credit union laws in all states and at the federal level. He poured more than $1 million of his own money into the project, and hired a Massachusetts attorney, Roy F. Bergengren, to support the Bureau's efforts.

Bergengren appeared before state legislators, laws were passed and volunteer organizers were initiated into the "credit union movement." When Bergengren began his efforts, there were only 199 U.S. credit unions. By 1925, 15 states had passed credit union laws; 419 credit unions were serving 108,000 members. And by 1935, 39 states had credit union laws and 3,372 credit unions were serving 641,800 members.

Credit Unions banded together into leagues on a state-wide basis. Leagues provided financial and legal advice, organizing know-how, and an instrument for Credit Unions to seek favorable state legislation.