The Credit Union Difference

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  • Overview
  • Credit Union History
  • Advocacy

Credit unions are financial institutions focused on service, not profit. Credit unions offer the same financial products and services as banks, but at much greater value.

Learn more about how credit unions differ from banks, and how you can benefit from becoming a Credit Union Member!

What is a Credit Union?

  • Credit unions are not-for-profit.
  • Credit unions are Member-owned and run by volunteer Boards.
  • Credit unions have Members and defined fields of membership.
  • Credit union deposits are federally insured by the US government.
  • Credit unions are full-service financial institutions.
  • Credit unions don’t pay taxes on profits.

Credit Unions: For People, Not Profit

Credit unions are financial institutions with a long history of service and a strong commitment to the philosophy of "people helping people."

Throughout the hundreds of years they have been in existence, credit unions have consistently been trusted financial service providers focused on people, not profits. Here we provide a brief history of the credit union industry.

Credit Union History: Origins to Today

  • Early 1800s: Credit Union movement began in England and Germany.
  • 1880s: Farmers in Germany created credit union because they were denied loans from banks.
  • 1900s: Credit unions grew and spread to Europe, Canada and America.
  • 21st Century: Credit unions become full-service alternative to banks.

Credit Unions: Why Advocacy is Important

Credit unions are important financial alternatives in the marketplace today, which is why advocating for credit unions is important to ensure our industry can continue to benefit consumers and businesses who participate in our not-for-profit financial cooperatives. Credit unions are:

  • Unique financial institutions providing affordable financial services to people in our communities
  • For service, not profit
  • A vital alternative in financial services for consumers and businesses

RCU Officials and management regularly meet with federal, state and local lawmakers to represent the best interests of our Members, organization and industry.

Let Your Voice Be Heard

At times, we ask Members to voice your support or concerns over pending legislation that affects Members and/or the Credit Union industry. We communicate with Members about these issues through our website, newsletter, emails and through Connect for the Cause alerts.

You can let your voice be heard on these important issues by signing up for Connect for the Cause, an important credit union advocacy tool--see below for details and how to get started. 

Connect for the Cause

The California and Nevada Credit Union League created Connect for the Cause as an advocacy tool to easily and quickly connect you to legislators so your voice can be heard on important issues. The Connect for the Cause webpage provides:

  • An overview of pending legislation and our industry's position on the legislation
  • A simple and easy way for you to voice your support of credit unions using pre-written but customizable emails and letters to lawmakers
  • An easy way for you to stay informed of important developments and updates through email alerts

Sign up today for Connect for the Cause and become a credit union advocate to ensure your voice is heard on important issues affecting you, fellow Members and your Credit Union!

Thank you for your support!

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Redwood Credit Union serves anyone living, working or owning a business in California’s Northern Bay Area, which includes the counties of Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Mendocino, Lake, San Francisco, Contra Costa and Solano. We look forward to serving you!

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