The Credit Union Difference

What's the deal with credit unions? We're community-focused, member-owned financial cooperatives. And the more you get to know us, the more you may wonder why you didn't try a credit union sooner.

How Are Credit Unions Different?

Like most banks, UW Credit Union is a full-service, federally insured, financially strong financial institution.

However, there are a few features that help credit unions stand out from the crowd, including:

  • Member owned - Every member has an equal voice and vote in how the credit union is run, no matter the size of their account balance.
  • Not for profit - Any potential profit is returned to the credit union for the benefit of members in the form of great rates, fewer fees and superb service.
UW Credit Union Verona Branch

Our Verona branch pictured at sunset.

  • Volunteer board - The board of directors is made up of fellow credit union members who are elected by the membership to help steer the credit union.
  • Community outreach - Credit unions are committed to giving back to their communities in the form of financial donations, volunteering and more.
  • Better rates, fewer fees - Credit unions exist to support the success of their members, not to put profits in shareholders' pockets.

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Once a Member, Always a Member

When you join UW Credit Union, you become a member for life.

That means wherever you go in life, whether you move or graduate or change jobs or retire, you can keep your UWCU membership. And with our easy online and mobile banking technology, your accounts are always at your fingertips.

Plus, your family members can join too! Learn more about our membership eligibility.

UW Credit Union Members Justin and Carl

UWCU members Justin Sulik and Carl Brickbauer.

The Credit Union Movement

What if people could pool their resources and work together to make fair loans for each other?

That was the question that sparked a movement. At a time when lending practices could be unscrupulous and access to fair credit was uncertain, people came together to make banking better for themselves and their neighbors.

In the 1800s, the credit union movement began in Europe and spread across the ocean to Canada and the United States. By the early 1900s, Wisconsin legislators moved quickly to pass statutes that supported the creation of credit unions.

In just a few short decades, hundreds of credit unions were in operation in Wisconsin, including the original UW Credit Union. Learn more about the history of UW Credit Union.

Today, millions of people benefit from these local, member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives that champion fair financial services for all.

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Bascom Hill 1935

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