DECU is Built Upon a Foundation of Timeless Values

You may have heard of a grain co-op or an electric co-op. We are a financial co-op.

Cooperative business entities around the world adhere to the Seven Cooperative Principles originally formulated in the 1840s in England by the Rochdale weavers' cooperative. The principles have endured to this day and are a testament to the sustainability of the cooperative business model.

Credit unions all over the world have operated according to the same core principles since the 1850s, when a group of weary German workers, tired of being exploited by loan sharks, formed the world’s first credit union by banding together to provide affordable credit to each other. These 9 principles are derived from the principles shared by all cooperatives. They are:

Democratic Control

One member = One vote. Whether you have $25 or $5 million, your voice is equal.

Open and Voluntary Membership

Members are connected by a bond of association, fostering a sense of community..


Credit unions are open to all without regard for race, orientation, nationality, sex, religion, gender, or politics.

Service to Members

Credit unions are ranked No. 1 in service in numerous surveys, because they exist to serve members, not profit.

Distribution to Members

Credit unions return all profits to their members through dividends, lower fees, better savings rates, and improved services.

Building Financial Stability

Credit unions are historically stable organizations. They’re owned by the people they serve, so they don’t take unnecessary risks.

Cooperation Among Cooperatives

Credit unions and cooperatives share the same principles. Together, they amplify each other’s good works.

Social Responsibility

Credit unions strive for social justice by committing to strengthening their communities and helping people of modest means.

Ongoing Education

Credit unions prioritize financial education for their members, employees, and communities as part of their pursuit of social justice.