credit union


credit union
a cooperative group that makes loans to its members at low rates of interest. Also called cooperative credit union.
[1910-15, Amer.]

* * *

Credit cooperative formed by a group of people with some common bond who, in effect, save their money together and make low-cost loans to each other.

The loans are usually short-term consumer loans, mainly for automobiles, household needs, medical debts, and emergencies. Credit unions generally operate under government charter and supervision. They are particularly important in less developed countries, where they may be the only source of credit for their members. The first cooperative societies providing credit were founded in Germany and Italy in the mid-19th century; the first North American credit unions were founded by Alphonse Desjardins in Lévis, Quebec (1900), and Manchester, N.H. (1909). The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), a federation of U.S. credit unions, was established in 1934 and became a worldwide association in 1958.

* * *

      credit cooperative formed by an organized group of people with some common bond who, in effect, save their money together and make low-cost loans to each other. The loans are usually short-term consumer loans, mainly for automobiles, household needs, medical debts, and emergencies. In less-developed countries these loans are particularly important, constituting the only credit source for many people, and are used primarily for farm production and small business enterprise. Credit unions generally operate under government charter and supervision. At annual meetings the members elect the directors, the credit committee, and the supervisory committee.

      The credit-union movement stems from societies founded in the middle 1800s by Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen in Germany and Luigi Luzzatti in Italy. The first credit union in North America was organized in 1900 at Lévis, Quebec, by Alphonse Desjardins, a legislative reporter whose work had alerted him to the hardships caused by usury. Desjardins also helped organize the first credit union in the United States in Manchester, New Hampshire, in 1909. In that same year Massachusetts passed the first state law recognizing credit unions. A study by bank commissioner Pierre Jay and strong support by Desjardins and Edward A. Filene (Filene, Edward A.), a Boston merchant, facilitated passage of the law. In 1921, to accelerate U.S. credit union growth, Filene set up and financed the Credit Union National Extension Bureau.

      In 1934 the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), a federation of credit-union leagues, was established by the credit unions themselves to take over the work of the bureau. Another organization, the World Council of Credit Unions, Inc., represents credit unions worldwide.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • credit union — n: a cooperative association that makes small loans to its members at low interest rates and offers other banking services (as savings and checking accounts) Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. credit union …   Law dictionary

  • Credit Union 1 — may refer to: Credit Union 1 (Alaska), a credit union based in Anchorage Credit Union 1 (Illinois), a credit union serving Illinois, Indiana and Nevada See also Central 1 Credit Union Golden 1 Credit Union This disambiguation page lists artic …   Wikipedia

  • credit union — credit ,union noun count an organization that takes care of money that its members have saved and lends them money at low rates of interest …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • credit union — ☆ credit union n. a cooperative association for pooling savings of members and making loans to them at a low rate of interest …   English World dictionary

  • Credit union — Financial market participants Collective invest …   Wikipedia

  • credit union — A not for profit institution that is operated as a cooperative and offers financial services such as low interest loans to its members. Bloomberg Financial Dictionary * * * credit union credit union ➔ union * * * credit union UK US noun [C] (also …   Financial and business terms

  • credit union — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms credit union : singular credit union plural credit unions business an organization that looks after money that its members have saved and lends them money at low rates of interest …   English dictionary

  • Credit Union — Member owned financial co operative. These institutions are created and operated by its members and profits are shared amongst the owners. As soon as you deposit funds into a credit union account, you become a partial owner and participate in the …   Investment dictionary

  • credit union — noun a cooperative depository financial institution whose members can obtain loans from their combined savings • Hypernyms: ↑depository financial institution, ↑bank, ↑banking concern, ↑banking company * * * noun, pl ⋯ unions [count] : an… …   Useful english dictionary

  • credit union — A corporation organized under special statutory provisions to promote thrift among, and provide credit for, its members. 13 Am J2d B & L ASSO § 4. A cooperative association organized under the Federal Credit Union Act for the purpose of promoting …   Ballentine's law dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.