History of UW Credit Union
Innovative Financial Services & Technology
You can feel good about banking with UW Credit Union.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.