More about Credit Unions
What is a Credit Union?
A credit union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned and operated by its members. Members pool their financial assets together to provide funds for loans and a variety of other financial services. Credit unions exist to serve members and provide a safe, convenient place for members to save money and to get loans at reasonable rates.
Member ownership and control are what make credit unions unique. Each member has a right to vote for volunteer leaders that democratically manage and control the credit union for the benefit of all members who are united through a common bond or community as described in the credit union's field of membership. Once you become a member of a credit union, you're always a member even after retirement, relocation, or a change in family ties.
Who Can Join?
East Idaho Credit Union has both a community charter, for Lemhi and Clark counties, as well as an occupational based charter. The occupational categories include employees, employers, students, or retirees of the following industrial groups as defined in the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS):
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting, Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction, Utilities, Construction, Manufacturing, Wholesale Trade, Retail Trade, Transportation and Warehousing, Information, Finance and Insurance, Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, Management of Companies and Enterprises, Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services, Educational Services, Health Care and Social Assistance, Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation, Accommodations; and Food Services, Other Services (except Public Administration, Public Administration, who reside in , work in, are headquartered in or are paid from Bannock, Bingham, Bonneville, Butte, Custer, Lemhi, Clark, Fremont, Madison, Teton or Jefferson Counties.
Family members of eligible members of this credit union also qualify for membership.
If you have questions as to whether or not you would qualify for membership, please call one of our nine branches and speak with a Member Service Representative.
When you become a member of East Idaho Credit Union, you're joining thousands of other individuals who have chosen the credit union difference. Credit unions are member focused and provide higher levels of service and lower fees than other comparable financial institutions. A common theme throughout the credit union movement is to promote thrift and the wise use of credit.
East Idaho Credit Union is a full-service financial institution. As a member, you can choose from a wide variety of financial products and services for every phase of your life.
We have confidence that you'll enjoy being a part of East Idaho Credit Union and that you will come to think of us as the place to go for all your financial needs. The Credit Union is here to help you grow financially, to serve your immediate needs and to keep you on solid financial ground for the future. The entire Credit Union staff looks forward to serving you.
Credit Unions vs Banks
|Purpose||Credit unions exist not for charity, not for profit but for service||To make a profit|
|Definition||Credit unions are financial cooperatives owned and controlled by their members||Businesses owned by groups of shareholders who may or may not have accounts there.|
|Governance||Credit unions are democratically structured. Every member has an equal say about a credit union's goals, functions and services.||Depositors are not guaranteed a vote. In a bank or savings and loan, only shareholders may vote on goals, functions and services. In mutual banks, votes are weighted according to amount of deposits.|
|Directors||Credit union members elect the directors who generally volunteer their time.||Board members are elected by their shareholders and are paid.|
|Earnings||Credit union earnings are returned to members in the form of higher savings rates, lower loan rates, no or lower fees and improves services.||Earnings are returned to shareholders.|
|Capital||Credit unions can build capital only through their earnings.||Capital is obtained through investments by shareholders.|
History of Credit Unions
Credit unions are relatively young, only having been around since the 1800's, but they have grown at a tremendous rate in those years. In 1921, there were 199 credit unions in the United States, but by 1941 that figure skyrocketed to 10,318 credit unions. By the peak year of 1969, there were 23,866 credit unions in the United States.
By 2014, there were 6,513 credit unions. The decline can be attributed primarily to mergers. Mergers have become common for a number of reasons: they enable expansion of services, compensate for lost sponsor or unstable field of membership and alleviate supervisory and operational concerns. Even as the number of credit unions has decreased, the number of credit union members has increased dramatically - to 101,480,027 by the year-end 2014.
The inspiration for credit unions came origionally from the cooperative activities in Rochdale, England, in 1944. Cooperatives were started there as a way to combat poverty and high interest rates, with members pooling their money to operate a cooperative store. In 1949, Germans Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch and Friedrich William Raiffeisen created a new organization, based on some of the ideas of those early cooperatives. They named their creation a credit society.
They were true cooperatives, however, as they depended on the charity of wealthy men for support. Later, Raiffeisen rethought the basic idea and, in 1864, organized a credit union. The fundamental principals on which his credit union was established still guide every credit union today. He believed that people - by working together and pooling their savings - could create a valuable credit resource not otherwise available to them.