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A Condensed History of Credit Unions

two hands, one large and one small, pointing at one another with fingers touching.

As you might have heard, this is the 80th anniversary of St. Helens Community Credit Union. While that’s an impressive milestone that we plan to celebrate all year, credit unions have a long and upstanding history that goes back even further to the early part of the 19th century.

Before credit unions were established in the U.S., they were popular in England. Back in the early part of the 1800s, families, villages, and others would come together to form financial cooperatives. That idea quickly spread to other parts of Europe. Credit unions were founded in the United States in the early part of the 20th century.

The first credit union in the western hemisphere was in Levis, Quebec. According to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a court reporter wanted to help local families avoid loan sharks. He then organized a credit union that would be the foundation for thousands more to come. The first credit union in America was St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association in New Hampshire in 1909.

President Roosevelt was one of the biggest advocates for credit unions in our history. He signed the Federal Credit Union Act, creating a national system to regulate federal credit unions. From there, the credit union movement grew. In 1970, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) was formed and the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) was put into place to protect member deposits.

Over time, credit unions have grown to help families and businesses everywhere get more for their money. As part of not-for-profit organizations, credit union members work together to help offer low- to no-cost financial products and services designed to help hard-working American families achieve their financial goals and dreams. That’s why St. Helens Community Credit Union exists.

The History of St. Helens Community
The history of our region began with Lewis and Clark. Since then, we’ve seen big employers come and go, roads built that connect us with the big city, the coast, and the rest of the region, as well as economic ups and downs that have affected everyone. Together we made a difference and have achieved 80 Years of Service.

Throughout 2018, we’re going to be going above and beyond to celebrate our 80th anniversary. You’ll find us serving coffee, buying pizzas, delivering meals for those in need, and offering you the chance to get even more from your membership. We look forward to serving you!

At St. Helens Community Credit Union, we are here to serve your financial wants and needs with products and services designed to save you time and money. Stop by any branch, call 503.397.2376, or visit us online at shcu.org.