Credit union history

The credit union movement has provided affordable financial services to members for more than 100 years. Read about how credit unions have evolved into thriving financial cooperatives – positively impacting communities.

The idea for credit unions sprang from 19th Century European cooperatives. The first credit union was started as a “people’s bank” in Germany, founded in response to devastating crop failures and famine during 1846. This later led to the credit societies in Germany, where one of the first credit unions was established in the 1850s.

In the early 1900s, the first credit union formed in Quebec. Thanks to Alphonse Desjardins, the working class finally had affordable access to credit. The concept eventually spread to North America, where Edward A. Filene and Roy F. Bergengren partnered to establish credit unions in the United States.

Credit unions quickly flourished across the US. During the 1920s, credit unions increased in popularity as families had more money to spend on items such as cars and home furnishings. Consequently, families needed a source of inexpensive credit to finance these luxuries. Unlike commercial banks, credit unions offered more affordable consumer loans and services.

Since then, credit unions continued to thrive. In the 1970s, credit union membership doubled and assets tripled. Soon after, credit unions became more flexible and offered increased services to their members.

Today, the credit union movement continues to grow in both financial services and social impact. While fulfilling all historical intents of credit unions, we continue to grow and offer secure and personalized financial services.

At Travis Credit Union, we are proud to be a part of a movement dedicated to making a financial difference in the lives of our members.

To learn more about Travis Credit Union’s history, visit our website.

History of Travis