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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 generally not 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 the 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.

On August 24, 1984, the World Council of Credit Unions approved the nine International Credit Union Operating Principles that have remained a cornerstone of our movement. They are:

  • Open and Voluntary Membership
  • Democratic Control
  • Non-Discrimination
  • Service to Members
  • Building Financial Stability
  • Ongoing Education
  • Cooperation among Cooperatives
  • Social Responsibility