Celebrating Over a Century of Cooperation

Kristina Kraus
Greater Nevada Credit Union
In honor of our country’s recent Independence Day celebration, I thought I’d share some interesting history, specifically that of U.S. credit unions, which have been around for more than 100 years.

Credit Unions’ History

The first financial cooperatives began in England in the early 19th century. From there, the idea of the credit union was born and emerged in Germany a few decades later. These initial credit unions demonstrated democratic governance, a single vote per member, and member-elected directors that were volunteer based. It wasn’t until 1900 that the credit union idea came to North America. It began in Quebec, Canada where the need for affordable loans had risen to aid working-class families. 
In 1909 the first U.S. credit union opened in Manchester, New Hampshire. By the 1930’s, 32 states had adopted credit union laws with over 1,100 institutions. In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act into law.

Today, there are over 6,000 credit unions in the United States and 57,000 credit unions in the world spread out over 103 countries.

Greater Nevada’s History

Greater Nevada Credit Union was founded as Nevada State Employees Federal Credit Union in 1949, with only 82 members in the first year, beginning our journey in helping Nevadans Live Greater.  As decades passed, our membership, as well as our product, loan and service offerings grew. So did our field of membership and branch network.

In the 1990’s we became Greater Nevada Credit Union, with membership available to residents throughout northern Nevada. Today, Greater Nevada is open to all Nevadans and we serve nearly 50,000 members with 11 full service branches throughout the area, plus a shared network of 5,000 branches nationwide.  Members also have access to Business Services, Financial Services, and our subsidiary company, Greater Nevada Mortgage, which focuses on providing homeownership to Nevadans.

If you are not familiar with credit unions, learn more about them here. If you’re a Nevadan looking for a credit union, search here, or contact us at Greater Nevada to learn more about how to join today.