About Us

What We're All About:

Rates

As a member owned, non-profit financial institution, we have a competitive advantage over for-profit institutions.  We do not have to make a profit to return to stockholders!  In addition, we are exempt from income taxes, like all non-profit cooperatives.  Our members benefit by receiving higher savings dividends and lower loan rates.

Safety

Each and every account with ICCU is federally insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration--the credit union equivalent of banks' FDIC.  

Service

We offer a variety of products and services to meet our members' financial needs. A recent independent survey of our members reflected a 98% satisfaction rating.  

Membership

Our membership is community based, so anyone who lives or works within 25 miles of one of our branches is able to join. Relatives of ICCU members can also join the credit union. Once you become an ICCU member, you can remain a member--no matter where you live or work.  Once a member, always a member!

Our Mission

Illinois Community Credit Union is a member owned financial institution, dedicated to providing quality products and services that meet the needs of our members and the communities we serve. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the Difference?

Credit Union

Banks

     
Members

Owners

Stockholders
     
Volunteer Board of Directors Elected by the Owners
Governance
Paid Board of Directors
Elected by the Owners
     
President
Selected by the Board
Management
President
Selected by the Board
     
Staff
Selected by management
Staff
Staff
Selected by management
Members
 
Customers
     
Excess earnings are returned to members in the form of higher savings rates, lower loan rates and lower fees. 
Where do the Dollars Flow?
Earnings from customers are given to the Stockholders as a return on investment.
     
Tax Exempt
Other
Taxed
Non-Profit
 
For Profit

ICCU Privacy Policy

History of Credit Unions:

In 1846-47, crop failures and severe weather caused great amounts of suffering among many farmers in Germany. Due to the fact that there was no organized relief efforts for the problems, two pioneers of cooperative credit jumped in to respond to the needs of the farmers and craftsmen that were suffering. Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch started out by forming a co-op to aid the poor. The early experiences led him to feel that cooperative credit was separate and an equally important need for all people.

In 1850, the first of his 'credit societies' was formed. Schulze-Delitzsch worked through some minor problems to come up with the same basic principles in place today among credit unions (i.e., minimum one share purchased in the cooperative and dividends paid on member savings deposits).

Membership in the credit societies was open to all who could benefit from the services, and democratic control of the people's services was stressed by Schulze-Delitzsch.  Each member had one vote, regardless of how many shares he held. Members administered all the affairs of the society and elected committees to manage the operations. Once the cooperatives managed to get established, in 1859, there were 183 societies with over 18,000 members in two German provinces.

Starting in 1908, credit unions were sprouting up in the United States. The first such one formed in Manchester, New Hampshire. In 1909, the first state credit union law was passed--allowing credit unions to form within Massachusetts. In the United States, early growth was slow. After formation of several credit union support organizations, the movement began to accelerate in the 1920's. With additional credit union organizations being formed, more and more citizens realized the benefits of credit unions and joined the cooperatives. With the stock market crash of 1929 and throughout the Great Depression, many Americans were stung painfully by banks as they attempted to keep from defaulting. 

Along with those attempts came outrageous interest rates on loans. Credit Unions, being member-focused institutions, swayed away from these methods and stood by their members. In fact, while approximately 5,000 banks defaulted between 1930 and 1932, most credit unions managed to survive the Depression--26 of every 27 credit unions in operation in 1929 were still in business in 1936. While the Depression was of great pain to many people, the credit union movement was of great relief. In fact, additional credit unions opened doors even at the heart of the Great Depression. Illinois Community Credit Union (formerly Sycamore Community Credit Union) was one of those. Please see "A Dream Come True" for a first-hand account at the founding of Illinois Community Credit Union, by S.S. Warren--a founder of ICCU.

History of ICCU

Illinois Community Credit Union was founded in 1935 during the midst of the Great Depression. As the banks cut back on lending, many people were forced to borrow money from loan sharks. Community leaders banned together to form a financial institution owned and operated by the community. Their mission was to provide reasonably-priced loans and a safe place for life-savings. Our policy has not changed to this day. ICCU is now, and will always be, operated by its members. And the concept to providing reasonably-priced loans and a safe place for life-savings has not gone away. We will now, and always stand behind our mission statement: "We are a member-owned financial institution dedicated to providing quality products and services that meet our members' needs."

The Story Behind Illinois Community Credit Union
as written by our founding member in 1939.
In this day and age, sentiment plays all too small a part in the lives of our people.  Belonging to the old school myself, I can remember "way back when" grandma or uncle John were touched by the misfortune of any neighbor or acquaintance, and were often moved to tears by a dream of a situation anything but pleasant. Today we have little time for dreams, either night or day, and when we do dream we usually attribute it to the mince pie or other indigestible mixture we had for dinner the night before. Day dreams are almost a thing of the past, but how many conveniences have been given us as the result of men who day dreamed first and then acted upon those day dreams. 

As far back as 1928 when I was treasurer of a postal employees' credit union, among the first in Illinois, I day dreamed of the fine possibilities for a community credit union centering in Sycamore. Later when I became money order clerk in our post office and wrote so many money orders for friends and acquaintances in payment of installments for loans from finance companies, loan companies and shylocks, it became more apparent to me that a community credit union was the one thing needed to help them face the future freed from such slavery. It cut me to the quick when I wrote money orders each week for some fellows and knew they were paying 30 to 40 per cent for their loans, knowing that they and their family were undernourished and cold during the winter months, while the shylocks who were getting this blood money were living in luxury at the expense of their less fortunate brothers.

In 1934 I was asked to talk to the department heads in one of our factories about credit unions with the idea of starting one in that factory. They were completely sold on the proposition and after talking to the men in their department who were sold almost 100%, the Big Boss was approached and it was cold shouldered and that matter was dropped.
But the matter was not dropped in my mind for, knowing that the men in the factory were in favor of it and knowing how badly they needed it, I proposed to organize a community credit union. I talked it to the factory employees, the business men, the Chamber of Commerce and they all saw the benefits to be derived by men in all walks of life. Being a member of the Illinois Credit Union League I asked for application forms for starting a Community Credit Union. They in turn reported to the State Auditor, who requested at least 75 names on the application as charter members before considering issuing the charter.

With the help of the factory men 78 signatures were forwarded to the Illinois League in March 1935. After almost a month of waiting, word was finally received that a charter had been granted and that the League would send out representatives to complete the organization on May 22. The meeting was called for the community room in the basement of the First National Bank building and the crowd came, listened to the State League officers tell us about what must be done and what must not be done, then they sat aside and we elected our first Board of Directors. Pass books were given out to the charter members and the Board met and elected their officers. My dream had come true.

At that time community credit unions were in their experimental stage and because some of them had not made an outstanding success of it, we were looked upon with some uncertainty, and more of an experiment. Knowing this the Board of Directors wanted to make good and all the officers worked diligently to make the Sycamore Community Credit Union something to be proud of.

As to what extent we have succeeded is evidenced by the steady, healthy growth as shown by the following statistics. Starting on that 22nd of May with 78 charter members and no borrowers we grew in our year to 162 members and 51 borrowers, with shares amounting to $4,501.25 and loans of $4,267.39. At the end of the second year our membership was 273 with 114 borrowers; shares paid in $15,582.54 and loans outstanding $14,030.31. At the end of the third year we had 408 members and 179 borrowers; shareholdings being $31,531.33 and loans amounting to $23,193.93. And now after four years there are 572 members and 276 borrowers; with shares paid $54,761.98 and loans outstanding $47,478.78. We have arrived in four years to the high pinnacle of the largest COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION in the U.S.

And to show how much we have loaned and to what extent we have helped those who needed help, I find that during the first year, we loaned $7,505.50; the second year $25,815.40; the third year $38,910.07 and the last year we have loaned $60,014.71.  The difference in total loaned and balance outstanding in loans at the end of each year is the amount paid back on loans each year, all of which is proof that the loans have been sound and productive.

In my estimation this spells success, especially when we consider that in four year of operation we have lost not a penny in loans. We have carried life insurance on all borrowers to the extent of their loan, under the CUNA Mutual Society plan which has saved us many times what it has cost. We have since our first meeting been members of the Illinois Credit Union League and through them the Credit Union National Association both of which organizations we consider the inestimable worth.

Roy Bergengren has said that "I know of nothing in human economic relationships which calls for more uncompensated hard labor, for a great capacity to overcome discouragements, for more faith and vision than the business of organizing and starting a credit union and bringing it through its baby stages."

I consider that a four year old has outgrown its babyhood and from now on the Sycamore Community Credit Union is not an experiment but rather a tried and tested institution that has demonstrated to our community and the whole credit union world that there is a need for credit unions serving a community such as this and that as much it can become a success.

S.S. Warren,

Founders Club Member 246

ICCU's Board of Directors

Board of Directors
David Thurwanger, Chairman
Janet Goehst, Secretary
Tom Brotcke
Marlin Chaplin
Steve Elsik
Douglas Lindgren, Vice-Chair
Richard Ott, Treasurer

 

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