Our Cooperative Principles
We are a cooperative. We are your credit union.
Credit unions are cooperatives which means they are owned by their members. Cooperatives whether they be financial institutions, electrical cooperatives or food cooperatives, all share the same seven principles.
Principle #1 Voluntary and Open Membership
We are a voluntary organization, open to all people able to use our services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
Principle #2 Democratic Member Control
We are a democratic organization controlled by our members – those who buy the goods or use our services – who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The members elect a Board of Directors to call the shots. We aren’t in this to get rich, but to help you reach financial freedom.
Principle #3 Member’s Economic Participation
Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of our credit union. Your success is our success. The more people who participate, the more the credit union can give back in the form of lower loan rates, higher savings yields, fewer fees and more products. Just like karma, what goes around comes right back around.
Principle #4 Autonomy and Independence
We are autonomous, a self-help organization controlled by our members. We are not owned by shareholders. That makes each member the boss.
Principle #5 Education, Training, and Information
We provide education and training for our members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their credit union. Members also inform the general public about the nature and benefits of credit unions. We are actively involved in helping members get ahead and financial education. Have a few minutes? We are happy to share your credit score, tips to improve credit, budgeting or preparing for retirement.
Principle #6 Cooperation Among Cooperatives
We network together to provide more ATMs than the world’s largest banks. We also share 6,000 branches across the country that you can use. In fact, we even share operational resources so that we can keep costs down. We serve our members most effectively and strengthen the credit union movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
Principle #7 Concern for the Community
Credit Union folks everywhere participate and volunteer in all sorts of local charities — it’s just part of our DNA. We live and work in the South Bay and we participate in community events.