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Video: The History of Credit Unions in The USA

46 years ago yesterday, the U.S. Congress created the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an independent federal agency, on March 10, 1970. Cooperative credit unions, or credit unions, started in Germany in the 1860's, and in the United States in 1909. Why? Traditional banks were unwilling to provide loans to farmers, small businesses, and most individuals. Regular people, like you and I, formed credit unions to pool their savings and provide loans to neighbors at reasonable terms and at reasonable interest rates; plus encourage thrift and savings.

So, credit unions were built by and for consumers. This has been an important check and balance against the excesses by traditional banks. And, we've seen a lot of excesses by banks recently. Last year, banks paid more in bonuses to their executives than all minimum wage workers earned. Yes, you read that correctly. The amount of bonuses to banking executives exceeded the total earnings of all minimum-wage workers in the USA. Yes, there are minimum-wage workers in banking.

With fewer fees, lower fees, high interest rates for savings, and lower interest rates on loans, credit unions are worth considering. Credit unions have outperformed banks on customer loyalty. It's no surprise banks are lobbying to eliminate credit unions.

So, know your country's history:

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