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Who We Are

130 Years Old and Going Strong

We've been serving families in Northwest Illinois (and, more recently, Northeast Iowa) since 1885. There were just 38 states when Sterling Federal Bank was born; Grover Cleveland was President of the United States; and our hometown of Sterling, IL was only about 50 years old.

Sterling Federal is even older than the Federal Reserve Bank, which wasn't part of the financial world until the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

We started out as Whiteside County Building & Loan Association with a small office in the old Galt Hotel on Locust and East Fourth in Sterling when we were chartered on November 9, 1885. Today, after a lot of history and a name change, Sterling Federal Bank is a $450 million institution with 10 locations.

There are three special differences that make Sterling Federal stand out from other area banks:

  • We're primarily a home mortgage lender, ag lender and commercial real estate lender: No loans to big corporations, no trust department, no trading desks like the banks on Wall Street. Our role is to help families in the communities we serve achieve their dream of home ownership, something we've done very well for over 130 years and a role we intend to continue to play for another 130 years.
  • Many people call Sterling Federal a conservative bank. We like that description. We've been here through two World Wars; the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Great Recession of 2008-10. We know how to weather the economic storms – and how to help our customers do the same.
  • Our Board of Directors are experienced leaders who are as committed to our communities and housing as we are.

We do, of course, offer a full range of consumer banking services: Totally Free checking accounts, for example. Credit cards. ATM-debit cards. IRAs. Certificates of deposit. Online banking. A Four Seasons Club for customers age 50 or more. And, of course, home mortgage loans, commercial loans, and agricultural loans.

If you're not already part of the Sterling Federal Bank family, stop by one of our convenient locations. That's the best banking decision you can make.