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Updated: August 20, 2019

Bangor-area credit union expands to 2 counties

After decades of serving the Bangor area, Hampden-based Changing Seasons Federal Credit Union has tweaked its charter in order to expand its geographic reach.

The credit union announced Monday that membership is longer restricted to within a 25-mile radius of Bangor. The charter change allows the credit union to serve members in all of Penobscot County, where it already has a foothold, and neighboring Waldo County, which has a population of 39,932. In all, it will serve an area with some 192,000 people. 

Changing Seasons, led by CEO Sue Cross since 2014, has 2,100 members and $24 million in assets and only one physical location, at 115 Mecaw Road in Hampden.

Originally known as the Bangor Hydro Federal Credit Union, it has operated in the Bangor area since the mid-1960s and changed its name to Changing Seasons in 2008.

Federal credit unions operate within a defined geographic area according to their charter.

Sue Cross
Courtesy/Changing Seasons FCU
Sue Cross, CEO of Changing Seasons Federal Credit Union, which recently changed its charter to expand its geographic reach.

Cross told Mainebiz that the charter revision had been in the works for some time, and that the credit union would seek to get the word out slowly to new potential members.

"We're really excited about this," Cross said of the expansion. "We pride ourselves on providing handcrafted services to individual members and to anybody who comes through the door. We know who our members are and are here to provide the best service."

She also said there were no immediate plans to add branches, noting that "the lobby traffic in credit unions and banks all over has diminished as people are doing more online."

As it seeks to attract new members, Changing Seasons plans to focus its efforts in the area of car loans, noting that credit unions generally can offer lower rates, even for people without a positive credit history.

"We work with each individual member with the goal of getting a loan approved," Cross told Mainebiz. "If there's a way to work around it helping build credit, we can do that."

Changing Seasons helps members research car loans using the Groove Car online buying tool via its app as well as offering them free CarFax reports.

Cross said that Changing Seasons has a total of eight employees and anticipates adding hires in the longer term with expected membership growth.

"That certainly is part of the plan but it's not immediate," she said. "Our staff is well-trained, and we have very little turnover."

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