Who came up with the idea for a credit union any way?
Well, in the mid-1800s, a man named Friedrich Raiffeisen was the mayor of Rhine Province in Germany. Many of the people were poor. Raiffeisen thought that if the people worked together to help each other, then everyone could save more money and do good things for their families.
He decided to help by forming the Heddesdorf Credit Union to give credit to farmers for livestock, seed, and other farming needs. And so the first credit union came into existence.
If you think about it, it really was a simple idea! People can pool (or join) their money and make loans to each other.
Years later (in 1909 to be exact) the first credit union in the United States was formed in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Now, maybe it didn't seem so exciting at the time. And there were probably people who thought that credit unions wouldn't last for too long. But here it is, MANY years later and credit unions are still happily serving their members!