One hundred and four years after the founding of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, better known as L&N, 14 employees came together to get a charter approved for a credit union.

Those original railroad workers, wanting greater financial stability for themselves and their L&N coworkers, volunteered by approaching other railroad employees one by one about investing in their futures. L&N Federal Credit Union had its start in the heart of Louisville, on the grounds of what’s now Cardinal Stadium. “In March of 1954, our charter was granted,” said Tim Root Executive Vice President of L&N Federal Credit Union.

At that time, this area was the repair yard, where, during the post-war boom, the railroad was still servicing the steam engines that would only see one more year of service, and working with the newer technologies that would overtake steam. Over the next 25 years, the railroad continued to grow, and so did its credit union.

In 1982, the same year the railroad was bought out by Seaboard Coast Line Systems, laws regulating credit unions changed. L&N Federal Credit Union’s visionary board took the opportunity to expand into a Multi-Group charter and bring greater financial stability and benefits packages to employees of area businesses, including Churchill Downs and Baptist Hospital.

2004 saw the credit union further open to a Community Charter, and now eligibility is determined by geography. They serve clients in the Louisville area (including Southern Indiana), Northern Kentucky, and Southeastern Kentucky.

L&N Credit Union today

L&N Federal Credit Union has 18 branches, 1.2 billion dollars in assets, and is continuing to grow, but their localized approach means more personalized services for their clients. The credit union is accessible to people of any income or level of financial stability. To open an account, all anyone who lives, worships, or works within its areas of service needs is to make a $5.00 deposit in a regular shares account.

The credit union’s mission statement is, “To bring people together, to enrich their quality of life, and to build permanent relationships.” Some are the fourth generation in their family to be members. A big part of that is that unlike multinational banks, decision-making is local. If someone is looking for a commercial loan, they’re not going to hear that the decision needs to be run up the chain. “The chain’s right here,” said Root.

“Overall, we try to have lower fees and better rates, whether it be on deposit or with our lending. We try to look at the individual.” Greater regulation has changed things, he said, “But living within the letter of the law when it comes to regulation, we still try to look at the individual, and give them a shot.”

L&N Federal Credit Union offers a wide range of products and services. Along with checking and savings accounts, they offer mortgage lending, commercial lending, including real-estate based commercial lending, military checking, and a wide suite of e-services including mobile and internet banking.  It’s a far cry from the hand-tabulated deposits collected by volunteers on the railroad in the credit union’s earliest days, but the personal touch remains as does the volunteer spirit.

L&N relies on Duplicator Sales & Service

L&N Federal Credit Union employee surveys put it as number one for financial institutions in 2018’s Best Places to Work in Kentucky. Many have been with the credit union for decades. Community initiatives that pay employees for 8 volunteer hours a year and the L&N Giving Fund, which allocates deductions for charities of their choice is a part of it.

The future is bright for L&N Federal Credit Union and its more than 90,000 members. Two new branches will be opening soon to serve Kentucky communities with a personal approach.

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L&N Federal Credit Union relies on Duplicator Sales and Service’s prompt attention should anything go amiss with one of their many copy machines, and leases a postage meter through their Corporate Mailing Systems arm.

Tim Barnes, who’s been a sales representative with Duplicator Sales and Service for 11 years and handles L&N Federal Credit Union’s account said, “They’re great to work with — from the president to the receptionist. They’re very nice.”  Barnes decided to go with L&N Federal Credit Union for his car loan. “It was a great deal,” he said.

The feeling is mutual. “They’re our copy people,” he said. “They respond when we have issues with the machinery. They come out and fix it right away. We’re very satisfied.”