On October 25, 1966, the Credit Union was officially chartered as the Des Plaines Municipal Employees Federal Credit Union. The ten original founding members, Police Officers and Firefighters each owned (1) share that was valued at $5.00. One of the founding members, Mr. Richard Arthur still serves on the Board of Directors today. The Credit Union charter was amended in October 1978 to allow the City of Park Ridge employees to become members. Then, in April of 1979 the name of the Credit Union was officially changed to the Northwest Municipal Federal Credit Union to better represent the growing membership which now included the Des Plaines and Park Ridge Libraries and Park Districts. Membership was then expanded to include the North Maine Fire Protection District and the Maine-Niles Association of Special Recreation. Today several additional employee groups have become eligible for membership. Our Credit Union now serves over 1,900 members and the original $50 in assets has grown to over $30,000,000.
The Northwest Municipal Federal Credit Union’s mission is to help our membership in reaching sound financial goals by encouraging regular savings, promoting thrift, offering loans and other services at reasonable rates while providing the best possible financial services to meet members’ needs, with exceptional, personal services. As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, we are owned, controlled and operated for the benefit of our members. Our goal is simple: to provide affordable credit and financial services. As such, you’ll find we offer higher rates on savings and lower rates on loans.
When did Credit Unions begin?
The Credit Union idea was born in 1849 when the mayor of a small village in Germany wanted to help his people recover from the financial devastation caused by the Napoleonic wars. His plan was for people to pool their small but regular savings and give out low interest loans. The plan worked well and the idea spread across Europe. The United States saw its first Credit Union established in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1909, based on the same principals of pooled savings and low interest loans. Today there are almost 10,000 Credit Unions with membership totaling over 84 million. The popularity of Credit Unions is due to many contributing factors, but the primary one is the quality of service they provide to members. What is a Federal Credit Union? A Federal Credit Union is a financial cooperative chartered by the federal government and owned by its members. Credit Unions are unique financial institutions with a philosophy to operate not for profit but for service.
Are Credit Unions as safe as a bank?
All member deposits in Federal Credit Unions are insured to at least $250,000 per account through the National Credit Union Administration, a U.S. Government Agency.
How is a Credit Union different from a bank?
Credit Unions differ from banks in some fundamental ways. Here are a few examples:
Credit Unions do earn a profit, but that profit less any operating expenses is returned to the members as dividends, reduced loan rates and lower or no-fee services. Banks are either privately held companies or publicly traded corporations and their shareholders are not necessarily their customers. Credit Union members are the share holders and the customers.
Board of Directors
Banks and Credit Unions both have a Board of Directors. The difference is, Credit Union board of director members serve as non-paid volunteers and are elected by the members. Any Credit Union member may run for the Board of Directors.
A Credit Union savings account is known as a Share Account because every member is a share holder and an owner in the Credit Union.
The interest paid on a Credit Union share account is known as a dividend. As a share holder you earn dividends.
Share Draft Account
A Credit Union checking account is known as a share draft account because drafts (checks) are written against shares in your account.