In 1935, when credit unions were helping Americans through the
Great Depression, the treasurer of a Midwestern credit union said
that credit unions were "not for profit, not for charity, but for
service," and that philosophy holds true today.
Credit unions continue to look out for their members' interests
and provide a level of service that is not generally available at
other financial institutions. Whether it's providing a loan to help
a member cover unexpected medical bills, giving financial
counseling to a member whose company closed its doors, or simply
offering a better deal on a used car loan, credit unions make a
difference for their members and the communities they serve.
The CUNA Cooperative Alliances Committee has developed seven
cooperative principles that reflect this commitment to serving
members and their communities. These principles were inspired by
the Rochdale Principles, which were named after the first
successful co-op, founded in Rochdale England in the 1840s.
These seven principles are founded in the philosophy of
cooperation and its central values of equality, equity and mutual
self-help. They express, around the world, the principles of human
development and the brotherhood of man through people working
together to achieve a better life for themselves and their