Remember when a business deal was sealed with a handshake? We sure do. That's how we made loans in 1950, when Ventura County Credit Union was granted a charter. It all started when ten county employees pooled their resources to fund the Credit Union. Operating out of the County Courthouse under a stairwell, a part-time volunteer with a cash drawer helped fellow employees with their financial needs. Back then, the philosophy was simple: people helping people. It's a philosophy that is still embraced today and has helped VCCU grow to more than $650 million in assets and more than 60,000 members and we're still growing!

Credit unions, unlike banks, are not-for-profit financial cooperatives. Their purpose is to provide the best possible service to their members, including members of modest means. Instead of creating profit for a small group of stockholders, credit union earnings are returned to members in the form of consistently lower loan rates, higher interest on deposits, lower fees and more state-of-the-art services like online bill payment and home banking. Over 84 million people - more than 9 million of them Californians - are members of credit unions in the United States.