The Credit Union Movement

For over a century, credit unions have existed as unique, not-for-profit depository institutions that focus on providing financially sound services to their members. Credit unions provide the same security and services that banks do; the only difference is that credit unions focus on saving members money, whereas banks are more focused on making money for their stockholders. Since the first credit union was created in the US in 1909, thousands of credit unions have been established to provide safe, secure, and sound services to their members. Now, there is a credit union for everyone.

In 1850, German native Friedrich Raiffeisen (aka “the Godfather of Credit Unions”) had the good idea for a “cooperatively-owned” credit institution; however, it wasn’t until 1864 that Raiffeisen was able to actually create the first credit union. Raiffeisen’s goal was to provide credit to German farmers so they could purchase farming supplies. The movement grew from a simple idea: by pooling together our savings and giving loans to our neighbors, we can achieve a better standard of living for ourselves, and for others.

By 1900, the concept of cooperative financial institutions had made it to North America, and by 1909 New Hampshire became the first state in the US to open a credit union. That same year, with the help of Edward Filene and Alphonse Desjardins, the Credit Union Act of 1909 was passed in Massachusetts, making it the first comprehensive credit union law in the United States. Twenty-four years later, big history happened when Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act of 1934 (FCUA) into legislation. The FCUA created a system for chartering and supervising Credit Unions, and allowed all states to form them.

Since then, credit unions all over the nation have continued to rapidly grow and expand, aiming at achieving Roosevelt’s original goal to “create a system of not-for-profit cooperatives that promote thrift and sound financial practices.” Credit unions exist to serve our communities with money saving services because we believe that people deserve to have each and every one of their hard earned dollars stretched as far as it can go.

Today, ALLIANCE Credit Union is going places and so are our 28,000 members. ALLIANCE strives to provide modern financial services that include online banking, mobile check deposits, mobile apps, and an E-solutions team dedicated to giving you exceptional service so you can do more with your money. Our “shareholders” are the everyday Americans who do business with us, our members. And our earnings? They belong to our members, so we put them right back to work to give you the best deals, from better rates to lower fees.

ALLIANCE is for people, not profit. All it takes to join ALLIANCE and the credit union movement is $5 to open your SHARE SAVINGS account. It only takes a few simple steps to begin experiencing the benefits of being a part of a modern, “people first” financial institution, and you can do it all online!