Happy International Credit Union Day!

Celebrate with Credit Unions with WCCU Staff.

Why Credit Unions Are Worth Celebrating

In 1924, Roy Bergengren, one of the architects of the credit union movement, reflected on what a credit union can do for people.

“The credit union is, in fact, a bridge,” Bergengren wrote in the inaugural issue of “The Bridge,” the official newsletter of the American credit union movement, which was then in its infancy. “It may be the bridge over which the tenant farmer travels the wide gap that separates him from ownership. It may be the way that opens the great land of opportunity to the wage worker, who finds his savings the ‘open sesame’ to broader possibilities for himself and his family.”

Credit Union Day Logo

Twenty-four years later, in 1948, credit unions in America, and later around the world, began celebrating the philosophy and achievements of credit unions every year on the third Thursday in October. The theme for International Credit Union Day 2017 is “Dreams Thrive Here,” harkens back to Bergengren’s sentiment, and it’s meant to serve as a reminder of how effective credit unions like WCCU Credit Union are at helping all people chase and achieve their biggest dreams in life.

This is because, unlike other financial institutions, credit unions are not-for-profit, so their primary purpose isn’t to score record profits in order to cut distant shareholders bigger dividends checks. Rather, the primary purpose of credit unions is—and always has been—to be of service to their members. That means you.

This people-first philosophy doesn’t just mean better service, it translates into a better financial deal for consumers. Credit unions, on average, offer higher rates of return on savings accounts, lower rates on loans, and fewer and lower fees than other financial institutions.

In 2016, WCCU member households saved an average of $300 compared to others around the state of Wisconsin in lower fees, lower interest rates and better dividend rates. But it is not just the money they put in their pockets, it is the ways that we improve their lives.

Members who joined us at any of our branches on Oct. 19 to celebrate ICU Day were treated with cookies and coffee.

The 4 Biggest Credit Union Myths

We’d like to clear up the four biggest myths about credit unions, as part of celebrating how awesome credit unions are!

  1. “They aren’t big enough.” There are big and small credit unions, but just like banks, your deposits at a credit union are insured by the federal government up to $250,000.
  1. “It will be hard to access my money.” WCCU Credit Union has free ATMs at every location and has nine branches in our area, making it easy for you to access your money anywhere.
  1. They don’t offer as many perks as banks. Credit unions offer the same financial products as banks—checking accounts, debit and credit cards, online banking, IRAs (individual retirement accounts), and home and auto loans—but because they’re not-for-profit, they often offer better rates than banks.
Paul Skrede and Jill Gettleman post with WVRQ Radio Staff
Branch Managers Paul Skrede and Jill Gettelman pose with the staff of WVRQ Radio to celebrate International Credit Union Day with the local media.
  1. I can’t join. Anybody can join a credit union. You may be eligible based on your employer, where you live, where you do business, or your family. You are eligible to be a WCCU member if you meet one of the following criteria:
    • An employee, member or patron of any cooperative operating in Vernon or Richland County.
    • An employee of associations or organization of such cooperatives.
    • If you reside or are employed in Vernon, Richland, Crawford, Sauk, Juneau, Monroe, Grant, Iowa, La Crosse, Adams, Columbia and Marquette Counties.
    • A public depositor, any employee of this credit union, and any member of the immediate family of any other eligible person may become a member of the credit union in the manner provided in WCCU’s bylaws.
    • Any organization or association may become a member of the credit union if a majority of the directors, owners or members thereof are eligible for membership in the credit union.
    • An organization or association that has a business located in any of the counties listed above is eligible for membership.
Recommended Posts