History of Interra Credit Union.
Though times change, our values have not.
“To be our members’ most trusted and valued financial resource.”
Interra Credit Union, founded in 1932, is a wonderful result of a difficult time in our history. During the Great Depression, life was hard and better days seemed hopelessly distant. Banks were closed, money was scarce, and those who could borrow money paid outrageous interest rates.
In January 1932, the township Farm Bureau members and Farm Bureau Co-Op employees met at a local Goshen business. Together with Edward Filene, father of American credit unions, they discussed the formation of their own credit union. Seven charter members each pledged five dollars to establish the credit union, but not every member could pay the whole sum at once; some had to pay the balance in installments. Despite this shortage of funds, they were determined to create a financial cooperative that could provide resources to help one another.
So, on February 23, 1932, the founders applied for their charter under the name Elkhart County Cooperative Farm Bureau Credit Union with a balance of only $19.50. After decades of growth and strong community involvement, members of the credit union approved a name change to reflect our growing and diverse membership. In 2008, we became Interra Credit Union; “Interra” meaning “Indiana land.”
Since its inception, the credit union has grown to serve more members and more communities, spanning across north central Indiana. Though times change, our values have not. The commitment to serve remains the focus of our culture and actions.
As members of a financial cooperative, Interra Credit Union members have a direct voice in the democratic control process by electing the board of directors and the supervisory committee. Using the ‘one member, one vote’ principle, each member1 has the same voice in elections, one vote, regardless of the amount of money deposited into or borrowed from the credit union. The elected members are committed to upholding the credit union’s principles and acting in the best interests of Interra members. After all, they are members that live and work in the communities served by the credit union, ensuring the ability to offer a truly local perspective and control.
As a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative, Interra Credit Union’s commitment is to its members. Our members’ needs drive the menu of products and services the credit union offers. The members’ needs are always top priority at Interra – it is our mission to be our members’ most trusted and valued financial resource.
Seven members serve on the Interra board of directors, each elected for three-year terms. As the governing body of the credit union, the board of directors meets monthly to review operations, establish policy, and expand the vision of the credit union.
Three members serve on the supervisory committee, each elected for three-year terms. The committee’s responsibilities include selecting the audit firm to perform periodic internal audits, to conduct an annual audit and the biennial audit of each member’s account. In addition, they are responsible for supervising the acts of the board of directors, loan committee, and officers.
Serving two-year terms, the Associate Directors are nonvoting members, while having the opportunity to learn about the credit union and the governance work of the Board of Directors.
1Only the primary member on an account may vote. Joint members, while a part of the credit union, are not given voting privileges.