Building Financial Health for a Brighter Tomorrow
On October 21, 2021, Credit Union of America will join over 56,000 credit unions around the world to celebrate International Credit Union (ICU) Day. The theme of ICU Day 2021 is “Building financial health for a brighter tomorrow.”
ICU Day highlights the many ways that credit unions across the world help members improve their financial health and well-being. If you’ve got a story to share on how CUA has helped you with your financial health or money challenges, we’d love to hear it. Just email your story to info@CUofAmerica.com.
At CUA, our mission statement clearly states we’re here for our members. And our employees practice and live our statement every day.
“We come to work every day inspired to make a difference in our members’ lives.”
Credit unions were built on the principle of “people helping people.” We’ve seen that philosophy in action for more than 100 years, with credit unions providing access to affordable financial products and striving to meet the needs of underserved communities. Credit Union of America is honored to be a part of this proud tradition for over 86 years.
If you’re not familiar with CUA’s history, here’s a snippet of how we started and how far our financial cooperative has come.
In 1934 while waiting for a meeting at the Wichita YMCA, John Michener read a magazine article about a new type of financial organization, a credit union. As a science teacher at Wichita East High School, John knew the challenges of living on a schoolteacher's salary. He decided he and his co-workers could benefit from a credit union. After exploration and application by a group of 11-15 teachers, The Wichita City Teachers Credit Union was chartered on March 6, 1935. We're now called Credit Union of America, which describes how we serve members across the nation more aptly.
The first deposit was just $5. One of our favorite stories was how Mr. Michener would walk around the school asking for deposits when he needed to fund a loan for another teacher. His efforts truly demonstrate a financial cooperative. I also like the story I heard first-hand in the late 1990s. A teacher told me how he had been a member for many years and which products he used. I asked him what type of loan he had. He replied, "the water heater loan." We didn't have a loan named that, so he explained. For years in his young career, every time he was short on cash, he’d come to the credit union and tell them he needed a loan for a new water heater. He always followed up and told them what he really needed it for, but he thought, “how can they turn me down for a water heater?” And guess what, CUA never did!
As you see, CUA is built on the "people helping people" philosophy, and we aim to do that every day. We're now over 86,000 member-owners strong with over $1 billion in assets. We offer services at 14 branches with a 15th opening at the end of 2021. We have a corporate office with an experienced member support staff to assist members worldwide, and state-of-the-art technology for 24/7/365 access through our award-winning app. While CUA’s membership was initially limited to serving teachers, we are now open to the public. And while we welcome all members, we do have some specific services just for educators and healthcare professionals that you can check out under the Resource tab. If you're a member of CUA, thank you for your investment in your credit union. If you're not a member, try us out and see what Welcome to Friendly is all about. Happy International Credit Union Day!