Five Star Credit Union

Family Friendly.

FIVE STAR isn't just a name, it's the type of service you receive at Five Star Credit Union. Five Star Service exists in every part of the credit union. From our superior rates to a friendly smile from every Member Service Representative, Five Star Service is what we are all about. And that's just one way your credit union is different. As members say, "Happiness is a Five Star Credit Union Account!"

Click to see a short Five Star TV Ad

Click to see the Five Star Service Pledge

Click to view a short What is a Credit Union? video.

Click to view a short New Year's Savings Tips video.
 

ABOUT US

Five Star Credit Union was founded in August of 1964 in Cedar Springs, Georgia. The credit union's original mission was to serve the employees of Great Southern Paper Company (now Georgia-Pacific) and initially was chartered as Cedar Springs Federal Credit Union. In 1991, to reflect a growing membership from other employers and towns, we changed our name to Five Star Federal Credit Union. In 1997, the board of directors voted to relocate our headquarters to Dothan, AL, and we chose to become an Alabama state-chartered credit union (dropping the "Federal" from our name). This allowed us to offer our membership to many more people in Alabama and Georgia. We operate branches throughout Southern Georgia and SE Alabama. We pride ourselves on the "Five Star" friendly service we provide our members. After all, as a shareholder member, we are truly YOUR family's credit union, and we are here for you and your family.

At the close of business on February 29th, 2012 Frederica Credit Union (with branches in Brunswick, GA and St Simons Island GA) enthusiastically merged with Five Star Credit Union (Dothan, AL). The merger with a larger, fast growing credit union like Five Star allows Frederica to offer many more loans with low rates to members and to provide higher yields on members' savings. The merger is a benefit to both credit unions and to all our combined members. Additional benefits are expected for members now that the two credit unions combined their internal operating systems on April 1, 2013 and changed the Frederica CU name to Five Star CU.

Five Star Credit Union now has combined assets of approximately $253 million and  more than 24,000 members and serves 15 counties.  Five Star currently has four branch offices in southeast Alabama and seven branch offices in southwest and southeast Georgia. We also offer Shared branching with hundreds of other participating credit unions and thousands of surcharge free ATMs thru the CUHere, Money Pass and Presto (Publix) ATM systems.

Why a Credit Union Instead of a Bank?
A Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned, financial cooperative that is there to serve its members' needs. The earnings of credit unions are returned to its members in the form of better dividend rates and lower loan rates and fees. By opening an account at Five Star Credit Union, you become a member and one of the owners of the credit union. That is why we say we are YOUR Five Star Credit Union.

We are Full Service.

Five Star is a full service institution that is able to handle all of your financial needs.

Accounts are NCUA Insured.
Each account is insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to the maximum federal limit. IRA accounts are insured separately, also for the maximum federal limit. Please call 888-619-1711 and ask a Member Service Representative for details.
 


HOW TO JOIN

 
Free checking and high yield savings.
It only takes a minimum $5 deposit into a savings account to get started as a member. And our FREE CHECKING with INTEREST (with no required minimum balance after opening with $25) and a high yield YOUTH account makes FSCU the best choice for you and your entire family.

In ALABAMA you are eligible to join if you live, work, worship, or attend school in any of the Alabama counties listed below. You are eligible for all the benefits of membership at Five Star Credit Union.

  • Barbour

  • Coffee
  • Dale

  • Geneva
  • Henry

  • Houston
  • Pike

  • Russell

In GEORGIA you are eligible to join if you LIVE in any of the Georgia counties listed below. You are eligible for all the benefits of membership at Five Star Credit Union.

  • Decatur
  • Early
  • Grady
  • Miller
  • Quitman
  • Seminole
  • Glynn (at former Frederica Credit Union - now Five Star Credit Union)
     

To Apply for Membership visit or call a branch near you. If none of those above counties applies, you can also join if you are employed by one of our Special Employer Groups (SEGs) that are eligible to be members. We also have a large list of member groups that you can view. Click to view a list of Eligible Employers.

You are also eligible to join if you are a qualified family member or live in the same house as a current member. We are always expanding our field of membership. If you wish to join please contact us and we will help you determine if you can become a member of the Five Star family.

When visiting a branch to open an account, please bring a valid US government issued photo ID (such as a drivers license or passport) and the social security card for each person that will be on the account.
For parents opening an account for their child or grandchild, please bring the adult’s photo ID and both adult and child’s social security cards.
If one or both of these are not available, there are alternate forms of ID that are legally acceptable. Please call us at 888-619-1711 (option 3 for member services) for more information on alternate identification that can be used.

Make life easier. Everything you need is right here in our Switch Kit.
Our Switch Kit has all the forms you need to switch to a simply better account at Five Star Credit Union. We’re glad you decided to make the move. If you would like further assistance, please call 888-619-1711 (choose option 3) and speak to a Member Service Representative.
 


 

2014 HOLIDAY DATES OBSERVED:

 

  • January  1, 2013 - New Year's Day 
  • January 20 - Martin Luther King Day (Monday)
  • February 17 - Presidents' Day (Monday)
  • May 26 - Memorial Day  (Monday)
  • July 4 - Independence Day (Friday)
  • September 1 - Labor Day (Monday)
  • October 13 - Columbus Day  (Monday)
  • November 11 - Veterans' Day (Tuesday)
  • November 27 - Thanksgiving Day  (Thursday)
  • December 25 - Christmas (Thursday) (TBD: Likely closing early at 3pm on Wednesday December 24th)
  • January 1, 2014 New Year's Day (Thursday) 

Five Star Credit Union offices are closed on these Federal holidays. Our ATMs, Website, Mobile Banking and PhoneLink 24 hour automated phone service are always available to serve you.

 


FAQs

What is a Credit Union?
A credit union is a non-profit, member-owned banking alternative. Sometimes credit unions are described as "Just like a bank... only better." A credit union's primary responsibility is to serve its members' financial needs and provide information about a variety of financial services that are available. There are many ways that you can access the services of a credit union. Click to view a list of our current membership groups. If you are employed by or are a member of any of these groups you are eligible to join FSCU. You can also join us if you live, work, worship or go to school in any of several southeastern counties in Alabama or live in any of several southwestern Georgia counties or are an immediate relative to a current FSCU member. (See "How to Join" for full details)

As an NCUA insured credit union, your account is federally insured to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the federal government. IRA accounts are separately insured up to $250,000.

Click to view a short What is a Credit Union? video.

What is Five Star Service?
Five Star is a full service financial institution that is able to handle all of your financial needs. We offer a wide variety of benefits and services such as free checking with interest, higher yield savings, low rate mortgages, auto loans, business loans, credit cards, free online services and mobile banking, hundreds of surcharge free ATMs and much more. At Five Star, we are continually searching for and assessing new services and products to add to what we already offer.

You can also take advantage of the many insurance products as well as investment services that we have available.

And remember, at Five Star, serving your needs is our top priority. Come see why members say ...."Happiness is a Five Star account!"

And as well as being able to serve all your needs, we believe we do it in a friendlier, nicer way than anyone else. Click to view our FIVE STAR SERVICE PLEDGE.

When I go into my online banking on the FSCU website I cannot see the words in the menu boxes.
It is a simple thing to fix in many cases (depending on what version internet browser you use). Just go into your FSCU online account and at the VERY top of the page is a toolbar. Click on "tools" and when that menu drops down, click on "Compatibility Mode". Wait a few seconds and the FSCU menu boxes will be back to normal. Another alternative is to change to the Mozilla internet browser. It automatically updates compatibility modes for every site you visit. If "compatibility mode" is not where described above on your PC, you may have to click a few different places to find it,

When are you going to open a new branch nearer to me?
The 2008/2009 economic downturn reduced revenue for all financial institutions including FSCU and that put a couple of planned branches on hold a few years but we currently have several recently completed, in progress, or soon to begin construction projects going on . We would like to add that a new branch is very expensive and we try to proceed prudently. Even a small branch can cost several hundred thousand dollars for the land, building, parking, drive thru, ATM and all furnishings, not to mention the cost of additional people to run it. A larger branch can easily cost much more. Each branch must justify its existence by attracting new members and new loans. Choosing a poor location in the wrong town or even the less busy side of a town can mean the difference of a branch succeeding or failing. A failed branch means a waste of YOUR money that might otherwise have been paid out in dividends or lower loan rates. What some members may not realize is we HAVE built a new building in Cedar Springs GA in 2010 and in 2013 remodeled two in Dothan AL. We also opened a branch in Cottonwood AL in 2011 and built and opened a new branch  in Bainbridge GA in November 2012. In February of 2012 we merged Frederica Credit Union in Brunswick GA with Five Star Credit Union and added their 2 branches.  A new branch in Cairo GA began construction in late-2013 and should be completed within 7-9 months. We do also own several pieces of property where we plan to build a new branch or at least place a convenient ATM. We have also added 6 no-fee ATMs inside Walgreens pharmacys with 3 in Dothan and one each in Bainbridge and Cairo GA and in July 2013 we added 3 no-fee ATMs in Rite-Aid drug stores in Eufaula and Abbeville AL and in Colquitt GA and in December 2013 added an ATM in CVS in Blakely GA. 
February 2013 members gained access to hundreds of additional surcharge-free ATMs thru our joining the Credit Union 24 (CU24 HERE), MoneyPass and the Publix Presto ATM network. We also recently joined the credit union Shared Branch network that allows members from participating credit unions to use each others branches for teller transactions. You can find more about this under our "locations" tab.  We are trying to meet the needs of more members with more locations and more ATMs and as you can see we have added several of our own branches and ATMs, and hundreds of shared branches and ATMs just in the past year or two for our members' convenience.

Where is there an ATM near me that doesn't charge a fee?
FSCU offers 22 of our own no-fee ATMs for our members. (see "where" by clicking locations). In addition to these and others mentioned below, there are literally thousands of retailers across the country that offer no fee "cash back" with a debit or credit card purchase. These include supermarkets, drug stores, Walmarts, restaurants, and many more places that you can receive a no-fee cash withdrawal from when you frequent those stores.
As of February 2013  we added hundreds of additional no-fee ATMs thru the CU24 ATM network. IMPORTANT - Only those ATMs with the "CU24 Here" or "Money Pass" icons are surcharge free for FSCU members. (NOT Allpoint or CU24 Select).  In March 2013 we also joined Publix supermarkets "Presto" ATM network. You can find a list of Publix supermarkets under "ATMs" on our website (under Online 24/7 Service).
You will be leaving FSCU website to a third party site to view these available CU24 network ATMs.

I have had trouble setting up my online account access. It says to call you but I work during the day. What is the problem?
When an account is set up we ask the member if they want online account access. If they do, we turn on a switch for their account. It is likely your switch needs to be turned on. If you can't call during business hours just drop us a note by mail or in our night deposit slot or email us after hours. We will turn on your switch and provide you a user name and password (which you can change as soon as you enter your account if you wish) and then you should have no trouble. (Why do we have a switch at all? Its for those members who still just do not trust the internet or online access).

Hurry on down and open YOUR Five Star Credit Union account.
 
Do I have to disable my internet security each time I use your website or access my account online?
No. Not sure why you think you need to. Our site is an https site (the s after http indicates a secure site). Your online account access is password protected and uses very sophisticated technology to safeguard your data. If you are getting some kind of security message when you log on you may be misunderstanding what it is telling you. If you are having any problem with our website or online account access please call our member services people at 888-619-1711 during business hours and they will walk you safely through your problem.

I would like the ability to transfer my money from checking to savings or savings to checking online.
You just have to sign up for online account access. Just call or email us or stop by a branch to obtain online account access.It's fast, safe and easy.

I would like to get my statements faster each month. I usually get them about a week after the month ends.
We suggest you sign up for e-statements and receive your statements electronically  about 2 to 3 days after the month ends. Since these are month end statements obviously we cannot start processing them until the close of business on the last day of the month. It takes about 3 to 4 days to format, print, collate, fold, insert, meter postage and mail the thousands of copies of statements we process each month and then it takes the US Post office another 2 or 3 days to deliver them by mail. With e-statements you save the mailing time and they do not need to be printed and processed for mailing. Its easy to sign up for e-statements. Go into your online FSCU account and click on e-statements and follow the directions or stop by a branch or call us for assistance. It's fast, safe and easy. E-statements look exactly the same as a mailed statement.

I love FSCU but why do I need an active checking account at FSCU to qualify for higher rates on savings and even my certificate account? A bank I have checking with is not that bad, and I am used to them.
Have you ever stopped to think about how financial institutions are able to pay you interest or dividends? When you make a deposit with a credit union or a bank, they must be able to earn more on that money than they are paying you for it. They can do this in just a few ways.
1) They can loan that money out to someone needing a loan (car, boat, mortgage, home improvement, re-finance, credit card, etc) that is able to pay it back with the agreed upon interest.
2) They can invest the money in commercially available securities (that unfortunately these days, don’t pay much and would not allow us to offer the higher rates we do just on their own).
3) They can encourage checking account activity from members such as debit card use (and even credit card use) that generates income for the credit union from the retailers you buy from as well as other sources from check purchases and usage.

Five Star Credit Union is fortunate that we have many wonderful members who have their checking accounts with us and use their debit or credit cards regularly as well. We are also fortunate to have many members with loans through FSCU, although we would love to have many more. These members make it possible for FSCU to remain healthy and offer higher savings and checking account rates to our members. We try to reward those members more since they make it possible for all members to benefit by lower loan rates and higher basic savings rates than others offer.

All we ask for a checking account to be considered “active” and qualify for higher dividends and other benefits is 10 transactions a month. These would include a combined total of deposits, transfers and withdrawals (debit card purchases, ATM withdrawals, checks written and cleared, and/or other cash withdrawals). Even if you do not want paper "checks" you should still have a checking account for ATM or debit card use and using these still qualify toward your 10 transactions each month.

It is highly unlikely your bank is paying you any interest/dividends on your (free) checking or higher yields on your savings like FSCU offers. The profits banks make are primarily for the benefit of their executives or wealthy owners. FSCU exists for YOUR benefit. The more you help us succeed, the more we can give back to you and our other members. If you do not have your checking account with FSCU, we would BOTH benefit by your moving it to us. Contact us at 1-888-619-1711 (option 3) or visit a local FSCU branch office and see how easy it is.

How do we stop unsolicited insurance offers in the mail from FSCU.
Just call us at 888-619-1711 (option 3 for member services) or drop us a signed note with your account number telling us you do not want these mailings. These mailings are done by a Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) owned by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and called CUNA Mutual Insurance or a similar organization. The mailings cost FSCU nothing, but offer members a chance to compare what they pay for insurance and possibly save money on various insurance products. We suggest members compare prices to what they are currently paying but it may not save everyone money. Please use your own judgement or opt-out of receiving these mailings if you prefer. FSCU uses any benefits it receives when members choose to accept an insurance offer from these mailings, to further benefit all our members.

How do I get copies of my cancelled checks?
There are several options.

1) If you access your online FSCU account you can click on any check number that has cleared and a copy of both sides of it will appear for printing or viewing. There is usually between 13 and 18 months of account history in your online account at any particular time. Checks that are processed via Automated Clearing Houses (ACH) do not have copies returned to us or our check processor. These are electronic transactions that are increasingly being used by companies that receive a lot of checks as payment. Our system will show you a mock up of an ACH processed check that can be used for whatever purpose you need. However there is no cancelled reverse side shown on these ACH checks. They are accepted as proof of payment by virtually all places that would request check copies from you.

2) If you need a copy of a specific older check, our Member Service Department can research and obtain a copy of most checks. There is a per check fee for this service.

3) If you use a duplicate type checkbook register (ie carbonless copies are made when you write a check) those carbonless copies are accepted as legitimate check copies by most organizations that require to see your cancelled checks, These copies are also useful to have if you forget to enter a check in your checkbook register.They tell you to whom and how much you wrote the missing check for.

And you may just ask yourself "Do I really need copies of my checks?" You have your check register for determining what you wrote checks for that might be for tax purposes.Unless you run a small business (and in that case you should probably be using an accounting software like Quicken or QuickBooks) there are not many deductions you can claim based on written checks. Charitable deductions require a statement from the charity. Medical deductions should have pharmacy or doctor receipts. Mortgage or tax payments should have 1099s sent to you from the lender and these (not cancelled checks) are required for tax purposes.


I have heard the government is phasing out paying retirees and other people in paper checks? Is this true and what can I do?
The U.S. Department of the Treasury is phasing out mailing paper payment checks for social security, SSI, railroad pensions, veterans benefits, etc.
As of May 1, 2011 all new recipients are required to choose receiving their payment by direct deposit into their credit union/bank or being issued a prepaid debit card from MasterCard that is refilled each month. Failure to choose will result in your receiving the prepaid debit card from the government. No dividends would be paid on the money on these cards and it would be difficult to pay monthly bills from this card.
All those already receiving federal benefits prior to May 1, 2011 must choose one of these options prior to March 1, 2013 or they will automatically be signed up for the prepaid debit card option.
We urge eligible members to make their choice "direct deposit" into Five Star Credit Union and let us continue to serve your financial needs and pay you dividends for your deposits. For more information or to make your choice (if eligible), go to www.GoDirect.org or call the Treasury Department's Go Direct Helpline at 800-333-1795. You can also call or visit FSCU and let us help you thru this process.

I recently overdrew my checking account but I am sure I had enough money in it. Someone told me it was because I used my debit card at a gas pump. What happened?
What many people do not realize is that when you use a debit card at a gas pump, the gas station first sends a request thru the computer to see if there is a valid checking account connected to the debit card and if so, then it "reserves" up to $100 (the legal limit) of the account before you ever start pumping gas. It maintains this hold on your money even after you have pumped your gas and continues to hold that reserve on your money until the electronic transaction clears a day or two later. This is allowed by law for gas pumps only and the bank or credit union that issues the debit card or holds your account has no control over it. So lets say you know you have $100 in your account and you stop to fill up with gas and buy $40 worth. You assume you still have $60 you can spend but if the gas pump has reserved its maximum allowed $100 you may not have ANY of your account available to spend for another day or two. If a check you wrote should try to clear or you use your debit card elsewhere during that time it may well overdraw your account.
There are a few ways around this.
* You can use a credit card instead of a debit card at the pump and never have this problem.
* You can take your debit card inside the gas station and pay the cashier with it. Because you then know the specific amount you already pumped, the cashier puts only that exact amount through for payment.
* You can keep a larger balance in your checking account so even if the maximum $100 amount is held by the gas station, it won't affect your overdrawing your account. Of course, not everyone can afford to do that.

* And, of course, you can pay in cash, but that defeats the (otherwise) convenience of debit or credit cards.

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