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About TTCU

Established in 1934 as Tulsa Teachers Credit Union, TTCU The Credit Union is the largest state-chartered credit union in Oklahoma. We're a $1.5 billion financial institution with a full complement of depository, lending and financial advisory services. As a not-for-profit organization, our financial success is returned to our membership in the form of low-rate loans and high-rate savings accounts. The membership of TTCU is over 116,000 strong and is made up of teachers, school faculty, administrators, staff, students and more than 600 affiliated groups.

TTCU History

A cigar box in the right-hand desk drawer in Miss Wilson’s room is the story of how Tulsa Teachers Credit Union, with its handful of school teacher founders and assets of $1,600, grew to become TTCU The Credit Union, with 116,000 members and assets over $1.6 billion.

Established in 1934 as Tulsa Teachers Credit Union, TTCU was founded in the midst of the Great Depression. After years of booming success with the discovery of oil at the turn of the century, Tulsa faced dire circumstances after the stock market crash of 1929 and the subsequent East Texas oil discovery in 1930. Little money was to be had, and the few banks that had money weren’t lending it out. Despite hard times and little money, education did not grind to a halt. Earning salaries as little as $100 a month, while still expected to dress in suits and ties and proper dresses, no group of professionals needed financial services more than teachers.

Thus, the creation of Tulsa Teachers Credit Union.

Miss Linnie B. Wilson, a bookkeeping teacher at Central High School was approached by a fellow teacher, George Pearson, about managing a new financial cooperative for teachers that he and the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association intended on organizing – a credit union. A credit union was a different kind of financial institution than a bank, because it was not-for-profit and owned by its members. Miss Wilson accepted the position and November 20, 1934 marked the official organization of Tulsa Teachers Credit Union. The credit union had a very humble beginning – in a cigar box in the right-hand desk drawer in Miss Wilson’s room, to be exact. But, within only three years, it had grown to over 400 members, and Miss Wilson was forced to relocate the credit union from her cigar box to a new office building. The concept of “not for profit, but for service” guided the small credit union as loans were made to help new teachers buy suits to wear in the classroom, as well as to help teachers make ends meet in the summer months when school was out – and that concept still guides the credit union today.

Over the years, we have expanded and changed our membership and qualification standards, locations and even our name – but we haven’t strayed from our underlying principle of serving our members.

What's a Credit Union?

What makes a credit union different than a bank? A credit union is owned and controlled by its members. We are a not-for-profit organization, which means that all earnings go back into the credit union to benefit our members – not stockholders. When we opened our doors more than 80 years ago, it was so people could help each other meet their financial needs, and it’s still about that today! That’s what we’re all about - helping people. Everything is for the benefit of our members.

Credit unions are cooperatives. A cooperative (co-op) belongs to the people who use it, and operates solely for the members' benefit. The members share equally in the co-op's directions, either directly as a volunteer, or by electing the board of directors that oversees policies and hires top management to run the daily business. Each member of a credit union has one vote in the selection of a board of directors, regardless of the size of the member's account balance.

Cooperatives include:

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Open and voluntary membership


Cooperatives are open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership.


Democratic member control


Members ultimately control their cooperatives by electing the board of directors. Members have equal voting rights in a cooperative. This is called the one member, one vote principle.


Member economic participation


In most cooperatives, including credit unions, members contribute capital in four ways: initial investment in a savings account; reinvesting earnings in the cooperative; contributing some portion of their dividends if the cooperative needs additional capital for special purposes; and/or responding to special appeals for further investments in very rare cases.

Seven Cooperative Principles for Credit Unions

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1. Voluntary Membership


Credit unions are voluntary, cooperative organizations, offering services to people willing to accept the responsibilities and benefits of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination. Many cooperatives, such as credit unions, operate as not-for-profit institutions with volunteer boards of directors. In the case of credit unions, members are drawn from defined fields of membership.


2. Democratic Member Control


Cooperatives are democratic organizations owned and controlled by their members, one member one vote, with equal opportunity for participation in setting policies and making decisions.


3. Members’ Economic Participation


Members are the owners. As such they contribute to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the transactions with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested. For credit unions, which typically offer better rates, fees and service than for-profit financial institutions, members recognize benefits in proportion to the extent of their financial transactions and general usage.


4. Autonomy and Independence


Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If the cooperative enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the member and maintains the cooperative autonomy.


5. Education, Training and Information


Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of the cooperative. Credit unions place particular importance on educational opportunities for their volunteer directors, and financial education for their members and the public, especially the nation’s youth. Credit unions also recognize the importance of ensuring the general public and policy makers are informed about the nature, structure and benefits of cooperatives.


6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives


Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, state, regional, national, and international structures.


7. Concern for Community


While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities, including people of modest means, through policies developed and accepted by the members.

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