Princeton Federal Credit Union’s New Branch Has Grand Opening at 774 Alexander Road
FINANCIAL SERVICES: “Our goal is to help people improve their financial situation. We focus on financial inclusion and help people at all financial levels and means.” Sam Paulicelli, CE0 (left) and Kyle Jaremko, marketing manager of Princeton Federal Credit Union, are shown outside of the new branch office at 774 Alexander Road.
By Jean Stratton
Not everyone may know the benefits and services a credit union can provide. It is like — yet different from — a bank. Indeed, not every financial institution is the same.
For example, take a look at Princeton Federal Credit Union. It has a long history of financial excellence, and it is unique in several areas, notes CEO Sam Paulicelli.
“Princeton Financial Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned, and democratically operated financial cooperative. We return excess earnings to our members by offering lower interest rates on loans and higher dividend rates on savings and investment accounts. We are also careful to keep fees for other services to a minimum, which is unlike profit-driven institutions.”
“In the case of a credit union, clients are members of a financial co-op that they actually own,” he explains further. “Members get a lot back, and we are also more willing to work with people who have financial challenges. We are more likely to look at the circumstances, such as unexpected medical bills, or other expenses, and be willing to provide services to help the people facing these problems.”
Princeton Federal Credit Union (PFCU) was originally chartered in 1972 by the faculty and staff of Princeton University, and there is still a branch on the University campus today.
Since the early days with the University, PFCU has now expanded to serve 90 companies, including Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Mathematica, the Town of Princeton, The Lawrenceville School, NRG, and others in the areas of insurance, research, science, and education.
“We currently have two branches, the original at the University and our new location on Alexander Road,” continues Paulicelli, who has been with the company for 13 years. “We are part of a shared branching network that allows our members to conduct transactions at more than 5,600 branches from coast to coast.
“Members can also use nearly 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs across the U.S. They can go online to find an ATM near their location.”
“In order for an organization to offer credit union services to their employees, the organization sends a request to our board of directors for acceptance,” explains Kyle Jaremko, PFCU marketing manager. “There is no cost to the organization, and there is no minimum to the number of employees.”
Once the organization is accepted as a partner of the credit union, an employee simply has to open a savings account with at least $5.
“We serve the greater Princeton area, and we are a member of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce,” he continues. “When we attend meetings, people often inquire about the credit union, and we are happy to give them information about how they can offer credit union services to their employees.”
PFCU is set apart by its willingness to help members in all areas of their financial needs, believes Paulicelli. “We provide many loan products, including mortgages, auto loans, student loans, personal loans, even RV and motorcycle loans. We also offer checking accounts with debit cards, money market accounts, traditional IRAs, and certificates of deposit.”
People’s needs change at different times of their lives, he points out. “We help people in different life cycles. For example, when they are just starting out, they may need an auto loan, later a mortgage for a house, and later on, college funds for their children.”
In conjunction with PFCU’s overall mission to help people improve their financial lives, the company is establishing a new service. “Our staff is being trained to become certified financial counselors,” he explains. “We will be able to analyze a person’s financial situation and suggest ways to improve it.
“Our goal is to treat our members as very important owners. And we only hire people who feel that helping our members is paramount. Our core values reflect those attributes we value most in our members, employees, business partners, and in all of our interactions.
• First, great people. We hire great people and expect a lot from them.
• Integrity. We build trusting, honest relationships, through communication.
• Service Mindset. We put our members first — period.
• Teamwork. We provide each other with the best internal customer service.”
Another benefit at PFCU is “that once a member, always a member.” As Paulicelli explains, “You are welcome to remain a PFCU member for life, regardless of whether you change jobs, move, or retire. You may continue to access your accounts and conduct financial transactions online 24/7/365 with internet banking and our mobile app.”
He is very pleased that the credit union has continued to expand, and that it currently has $140 million in assets. “We continue to grow as people feel more confident in the economy; as their pay checks grow, they open additional accounts with us. For example, they may have started with a savings accoubt, then opened a checking account, or obtained a loan.”
Both he and Kyle Jaremko are very proud of the attractive new Alexander Road branch, which also offers drive-up service and 24-hour drive-up ATM service. It just celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting and special events.
“The building originally was a house, and it has recently been renovated to offer a bright, attractive setting and decor, with an open concept, and a welcoming atmosphere. People who come in enjoy the interaction with the friendly staff. Our goal is to let people know we care about them.”
This philosophy extends to the overall mission of inclusiveness PFCU strives to provide. As CEO Paulicelli states, “We serve a broad spectrum of members, at all financial stages. We very much enjoy serving their needs, and we look forward to assisting people who face challenges and helping them to improve their financial well-being. We are happy to provide everyone with unique service.”
PFCU’s branch office is open Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon. For further information, call (609) 945-6200 or visit the website: www.princetonfcu.org.