The Ingalls Shipbuilding Legacy
Navigator Credit Union was born from the essential need for the average person to have access to affordable financial services. In 1938, Ingalls Shipbuilding began operations. For the first time, those who had farmed the fertile coastland or fished its well-populated waters were now gainfully employed. Because of their modest incomes, many did not have established credit. Even with their new-found employment, they were unable to purchase basic items such as refrigerators, automobiles and washing machines without access to credit.
At the time, credit unions were still a relatively new phenomenon in the U.S., but the cooperative principles and structure appealed to a small group of shipyard workers who founded Ingalls Employees Credit Union (IECU). With only 100 members and $2,500 in deposits, IECU began offering savings accounts and loans to members who, until then, had not had access to financial services.
The new Credit Union quickly became vital for the financial stability of thousands of shipbuilders. With a unique understanding of Gulf Coast living, the Credit Union developed products and services which helped members fulfill their dreams. Through the decades, members have purchased homes, sent children to college, taken well-deserved vacations and saved for retirement.
In 2003, Ingalls Employees Credit Union changed its name to Navigator Credit Union to reflect the broad coastal base it serves. In changing its name, Navigator stayed true to its roots by inviting member involvement through surveys, focus groups and personal phone calls so that everyone provided input in re-naming their beloved Credit Union.
Throughout its history, Navigator has been guided by the motto: People Are Worth More Than Money℠. The genuine delivery of this principle by Navigator Team Members, along with a welcoming atmosphere, an effortless membership process and extraordinary line of financial products have drawn individuals to become part of the Navigator family. Most recently, members from three financial institutions – Friendly Credit Union, North Gulfport Community Credit Union and Jackson County Credit Union – have merged with Navigator. In doing so, their members were able to reap the benefits of additional locations, enhanced products and services and state-of-the-art technology.
As the largest state-chartered credit union in Mississippi, and one of the largest credit unions in Alabama, Navigator now holds more than $300 million in assets and serves more than 50,000 members. We’re still growing and look forward to the opportunity to serve your financial needs, and those of your business and family, for many, many years to come. Click here to view Navigator’s Corporate Mission Statement.