Consumer Information

Consumer Info

Credit Unions Are a Smarter Choice
Wisconsin's Credit Unions Unite for Good
All About Credit Unions

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With more than 120 credit unions in Wisconsin and over 6,500 nationwide, there's sure to be one that fits your needs.

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What is a Credit Union?

It is a cooperative financial institution that is owned by its members and does not have stockholders. Because a credit union is not-for-profit, it returns earnings to members in the form of more competitive rates of return on accounts and loans, lower and fewer fees and improved services.

As a financial cooperative credit unions, like other cooperatives around the world, generally operate according to the same seven principles adopted in 1995 by the International Cooperative Alliance. Cooperatives can trace their roots to the first modern cooperative founded in Rochdale, England, in 1844.

Cooperative Principles:

  1. Voluntary and Open Membership
    Cooperatives are formed by people looking for solutions to shared problems. They are open to all who use or provide their services and are willing to accept the responsibilities of membership.
  2. Democratic Member Control 
    Cooperatives are controlled by those who use or provide the co-op's goods and services. Each member gets one vote to help make the organization's policies and decisions.
  3. Member Economic Participation 
    Members equally "buy in" and democratically control the cooperative's capital based on the amount of business they conduct rather than the dollars they invest.
  4. Autonomy and Independence 
    Cooperatives are independent, self-help organizations. If a co-op enters into an outside agreement or raises external capital, it still retains autonomy and democratic control.
  5. Education, Training and Information 
    Cooperatives train their members, directors, and employees so they can best contribute to the co-op's development. They also educate the general public about cooperatives.
  6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives 
    Cooperatives work together through strong local, national, regional, and international structures to most effectively serve their members.
  7. Concern for Community 
    Cooperatives focus on local development through policies and programs directed by their members.

Learn about credit union services, local ownership & how they put people over profits >>

History of Credit Unions

Credit unions have a rich history stretching back to 1864.

Learn how these founding cooperative principles grew into the credit unions of today >>

The Credit Union Difference

The CU difference is what makes credit unions special, namely:
  1. How they define their purpose
  2. How they are governed
  3. The benefits they offer their members
  4. The values they bring to their communities

Learn how the credit union difference is good for you >>

The Difference between Banks & Credit Unions

The difference between banks and credit unions can be found in five main areas:
  1. Account Holders
  2. Governance
  3. Insurance
  4. Structure

Learn more >>