What Is A Credit Union?

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Credit unions are financial institutions formed by an organized group of people with a common bond. Members of credit unions pool their assets to provide loans and other financial services to each other. The idea of a credit union was born in 1849 during the depth of a depression. The mayor of a small German village saw that many of his townspeople were without adequate food, shelter or clothing. He convinced those villagers who were able to pool their resources and make low-cost loans to those who were less fortunate. The concept worked so well that it spread to North America (Canada) in the late 1880's and to the United States in 1909. Now, there are over 8,000 credit unions nationwide, with around 92 million members and holdings of more than $833 billion in assets!