About Tangipahoa Parish Teachers'
Credit Union

WHAT IS A CREDIT UNION?

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives serving members who share something in common-employment, association membership, or residence in a particular geographic area. More than 70 million U.S. consumers are member-owners of, and receive all or part of their financial services from, the nation's 12,047 credit unions.

The mission of a credit union is to provide and promote the use of a variety of financial services which feature particular benefits and advantages over those generally available from other banking sources, with specific intent of helping members gain some particular measure of personal financial success.

PHILOSOPHY & STRUCTURE

Credit unions are democratically owned and controlled institutions based on 'people helping people' principles.
Credit union boards of directors are elected by members; each member has an equal vote, regardless of how much he or she has on deposit. Only members may serve as directors, and directors serve without compensation. Credit unions have no outside stockholders, so after reserves are set aside, earnings are returned to members in the form of higher dividends on savings, lower loan rates and lower cost services.

CREDIT UNION HISTORY

The credit union idea is a simple one: People should be able to pool their money and make loans to each other. It's an idea that evolved from cooperative activities in 19th century Europe.

Since that time, the idea's guiding principles have remained the same:(1) Only people who are credit union members should borrow there; (2) loans are made for 'prudent and productive' purposes; (3) a person's desire to repay (character) is considered more important than the ability (income) to repay. Members are, after all, borrowing their own money and that of their friends. These principles still govern most of the world's credit unions.

As the 20th century began, the credit union idea surfaced in Canada. Canada's successful efforts profoundly influenced two Americans: Pierre Jay, the Massachusetts banking commissioner, and Edward A. Filene, a Boston merchant.

The two men helped organize public hearings on credit union legislation in Massachusetts, leading to passage of the first state credit union act in 1909.