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Main Office
43 West Broad Street
Pawcatuck, CT 06379
(860) 599-5379
Fax (860) 599-8407

Foxwoods Branch
Great Cedar Hotel
Foxwoods Resort Casino
350 Trolley Lane Blvd
Mashantucket, CT 06338
(860) 312-4300
Fax (860) 312-4301

Plainfield Branch
60 Community Avenue
Plainfield, CT 06374
(860) 564-5656
Fax (860) 564-3517

WHAT IS A CREDIT UNION?
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives, owned by the people who save and borrow there. Every member is an owner with an equal vote in the election of the credit union's board of directors.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CREDIT UNION MEMBERSHIP?
As not-for-profit financial cooperatives, credit unions are managed by volunteer boards of directors who are not paid for their efforts. Rather than creating high profits for paid directors and stockholders, credit unions return earnings back to their members in the form of lower rates on loans, higher dividends on savings, and fewer and lower service fees. When credit union members pool their savings so that other members can borrow, they are supporting in the credit union philosophy of "people helping people".

THERE ARE REAL DIFFERENCES
There are major differences between credit unions and other financial institutions:

Credit Unions versus Other Financial Institutions
Credit Unions Other Financial Institutions
Not-for-Profit Cooperatives For Profit Corporations
Owned by Members Owned by Outside Stockholders
Operated by Volunteer Boards of Directors Controlled by Paid Board of Directors
Charge Lower & Fewer Service Fees Charge Higher & More Service Fees
Charge Lower Loan Rates Charge Higher Loan Rates
Pay Higher Savings Rates Pay Lower Savings Rates

HOW DID CREDIT UNIONS START?
The idea for credit unions was based on the simple principle that ordinary people could pool their money and make loans to each other. This concept evolved in early 19th century Europe with the first financial cooperative being organized by a group of workers in Rochdale, England in 1844. In the 1850's and 1860's, Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch and Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen were responsible for creating the first credit unions in Germany.

In 1871, credit union legislation was considered in Masssachusetts, however efforts in the 19th century to start U.S. credit unions were not very successful. The concept, however, continued to grow and in 1900, a Canadian named Alphonse Desjardins organized a credit union in Levis, Quebec. Desjardins devoted a large part of his life to credit union development in North America and organized the first credit union in the United States in 1909 in New Hampshire.

Two Americans were profoundly influenced by Desjardins' efforts: Pierre Jay, the Massachusetts banking commissioner; and Edward A. Filene, a Boston merchant. In 1908 a conference was held in Boston which included Desjardins, Jay, Filene and other concerned citizens. Working with Desjardins, Jay prepared the legislation for what was to become the first general state credit union act in the United States.

In 1921, Filene decided that the only way to promote the development of credit unions was to seek federal legislation and additional state legislation. He created the Credit Union National Extension Bureau and hired a Massachusetts attorney, Roy F. Bergengren, to help him. Bergengren and the Bureau were charged with developing effective credit union laws in each state and also at the federal level. Filene and Bergengren hoped to create a nationwide association of credit unions to provide leadership and services to existing credit unions, and to organize new credit unions. By 1935, 39 states had credit union laws and 3,372 credit unions were serving 641,800 members.

During the formative years of the credit union movement, credit unions banded together to create associations (league) in each state. In 1934 the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) was formed as a confederation of state associations. During this same year, Congress passed a Federal Credit Union Act which facilitated the organization of federal credit unions across the United States.

Today the credit union movement includes 11,369 credit unions nationwide serving over 77 million members. It is one of the strongest financial networks in the world. Through cooperative efforts, credit unions of all sizes are able to offer their members a broad range of services to meet their financial needs.

IS MY MONEY INSURED AT A CREDIT UNION?
Yes. Savings in all Connecticut credit unions are insured up to $250,000 (until 2013) by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) which is administered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government.

STATISTICS ON CONNECTICUT CREDIT UNIONS
(as of December 2009)

  • Number of Federally chartered credit unions - 102
  • Number of State chartered credit unions - 34
  • Total number of credit union members - 884,021
  • Total assets - $8.6 billion
  • Total loans - $4.5 billion