St. Joseph, Mich.-based United Federal Credit Union, which has a branch in Griffith, will merge with Lake Michigan Credit Union out of Grand Rapids.

The merger will create one of the nation's largest credit unions with 500,000 members, 78 locations, assets of more than $6 billion and more than $8 billion in its mortgage servicing portfolio. The newly merged credit union will have 1,400 employees in seven states, and rank in the top 20 nationally in both total assets and net loans.

The Griffith United Federal Credit Union at 510 N. Broad St. will be rebranded as United Credit Union once the merger is completed, as will all the other United Federal Credit Union locations. The credit union, which was originally chartered in 1949 and has the slogan "We'll get you there," will be consolidated under the LMCU state charter.

"I am extremely pleased to announce the merger of these two highly regarded credit unions," said Sandy Jelinski, president and chief executive officer of Lake Michigan Credit Union.

"Our similar cultures and complementary geographies and service strengths make this combination a natural fit. Both of our organizations are dedicated to delivering the very best to our members."

Both boards of directors unanimously approved the merger, which is still subject to regulatory approval. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

"We are very excited to merge with Lake Michigan Credit Union," United Federal Credit Union President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Easterling said. "We view this as a tremendous opportunity for our employees and our members to combine with another great organization that will significantly expand our potential for mutual future success."

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Business reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.