This page uses JavaScript. Your browser either does not support JavaScript or you have it turned off. To see this page properly please use a JavaScript enabled browser.
Home > Credit Union Philosophy > History

we've got great roots

Credit unions are relative "newcomers" to the social and economic scene. As an idea, they have only been around since the mid-1880s, and the first U.S. credit union didn't open its doors until 1909. But what a brilliant idea it was … and still is! Cooperative credit filled a real need in a new way. Credit unions could provide access to affordable, short-term credit for members of the working class, small farmers, or tradesmen in a community. And, because the very people who directly benefited had an ownership stake in the financial organization, they were careful to shepherd their investment (and pay back their loans).

Once the idea was planted, it was clear that credit unions — and the benefits they offer — were here to stay.

Below are links to short explanations of key eras in credit union history.

Credit Unions … A Quick History Lesson




About Us

Network Governance
Full Staff Listing
Credit Union Chapters

Contact Us

Credit Union Jobs


CU PolicyPro
Fraud Resource Center
Compliance Training Tools


Advocacy &
Government Relations

     National Programs
     State Programs

Government Relations
     Montana Government
     Federal Government Affairs

Political Action

Field of Membership Expansion

Community Development 


Conferences and Trainings
Distance Learning
Financial Literacy for Volunteers


League Service Group

Directly Provided Services
Group Benefit Trust

Communications & PR

Credit Unions in the News
President's Report
Photo Galleries
Network News
News Archive

Credit Union Directors

The Director's Job
Volunteer Recognition
Helpful Resources
The Blog "A Direct Line"


Find a Credit Union Near You
ip of the Week
Topic of the Month
Reciprocal Check Cashing

Montana's Credit Unions

Credit Unions in the News
Credit Unions for Kids
Credit Union Philosophy