And why is this important to me?
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, more than a quarter of the job force was out of work. No one could afford food or clothing, let alone a house. Banks were failing. Savings and loans were closing their doors. Then in 1934, President Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act into law, creating a national system of cooperative credit for “people of small means.” This act ensured that low-paid workers, often shunned by banks, could obtain bank-like financial services at a reasonable cost.
Membership means ownership.
Under that landmark 1934 federal law, credit unions were established as non-profit financial institutions in order to best serve the public. Then, as today, any money earned as profit is immediately reinvested in the credit union. This translates into lower rates on loans, higher dividends on savings, the best possible standard of service and a secure financial environment.
When you join a credit union, you’re more than an account number, you’re an owner. Members have a real voice in policy and programs — many of which are set by an all volunteer Board of Directors. This member-elected Board is made up of “real people” credit union members.
And even though today’s credit unions offer services never dreamed of back in the 1930s, what made them strong then is what keeps them strong today. You, the members.