History of UW Credit Union

UW Credit Union has been dedicated to people's financial well-being since our founding in 1931. Learn more about the credit union difference and the perks of becoming a UWCU member.

Innovative Financial Services & Technology

You can feel good about banking with UW Credit Union.

We're a leading-edge financial institution committed to technology that makes life easier and values that make our world a better place.

We were the first credit union in the country to offer credit cards, credit scores and no-down-payment mortgages, as well as the first credit union to implement two-factor online banking login security, which later became a federal requirement for all financial institutions. Check out our other groundbreaking firsts.

UW Credit Union App and Credit Card

Our online and mobile banking technology is among the best available.

Rooted in The Wisconsin Idea

Seven founders signed our original charter on June 1, 1931, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Walter Morton, Harold Groves and Selig Perlman worked in the Department of Economics at the University. W. Ellison Chalmers and Genevieve Townsend were graduate students. W.G. Rice, Jr., was a professor of law, and Friedrich Bruns was a professor of German.

The founders were all colleagues of Professor John R. Commons, who, along with a handful of other like-minded associates, had investigated ways to help Wisconsin residents gain access to affordable credit. As a result of his research, Commons proposed creating a credit union, an idea strongly supported by the University of Wisconsin President Glenn Frank and a host of notable economics professors.

Governor Phillip La Follette signing Wisconsin's Unemployment Compensation Bill introduced by UWCU founder Harold M Groves

Governor Phillip La Follette signing Wisconsin's Unemployment Compensation Bill, introduced by UWCU founder Harold M. Groves.
Image from the Wisconsin Historical Society, WHS-4016

This group of forward-thinking academics established the foundation of what is now UW Credit Union.

Although 'UW' is our history and our name, we operate outside the university system. We are owned by our members and dedicated to the financial well-being of thousands of families all over the world.

Read more about our founders and their legacy. And learn more about the credit union difference.

Our University Connection & Beyond

Education, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the whole UW System are part of our heritage and future.

We were founded by professors and academics, and we continue to champion students and learning every day. With financial products designed to help young people thrive, plus full services and solutions for all of life's milestones, we're the financial institution you can turn to at every age and stage.

Today, our membership has expanded beyond university campuses to include communities all over the state and across the globe.

You don't need to be a UW student to join UW Credit Union! Learn more about our membership eligibility.

Bascom Hill 1935

Pictured is Bascom Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1935.
Image from the Wisconsin Historical Society, WHS-28576

Our New Look

In 2019, we updated our logo, tagline and branding. While our mission, values and commitment to our membership remain the same, we embrace a fresh new look that reflects our modern technology and invests in our future.

UW Credit Union logo with tagline, Here for Every You.