The experience of most people in Derry in the 50’s and early 60’s was that of high unemployment. Banks and other financial institutions did not advance credit without substantial collateral or guarantees.
You had to be a homeowner in order to get a loan and very few people owned their own homes in the late 1950’s!) Money lenders charged exorbitant rates of interest perpetuating the cycle of hardship. Consequently the ordinary working class people in the city had only very costly sources of credit available to them.
Six forward-thinking individuals decided there must be a source of affordable, reasonable credit for the ordinary person in Derry. They researched and discovered the fledgling Irish credit union movement and the well established international movement. These six individuals pooled their combined savings of eight pounds and ten shillings and, in October of 1960, formally established Derry Credit Union – the first credit union in the city and the first to be founded in Northern Ireland.
Through the loyalty and dedication of its membership, Derry Credit Union Limited has flourished to become the tremendous success it is today.
The credit union now has over 27,000 members and over 7,000 minor savers. Operating under the motto not for profit, not for charity, but for service, Derry Credit Union Limited has successfully provided for its members a source of low cost credit and other financial benefits and services.
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