It all started during the Great Depression, in 1934, when an Olympia High School math teacher wanted to find a way to help his fellow teachers put down roots and be part of the community. On a teacher’s salary it was difficult to obtain a loan to buy a house or a car unless you were willing to repay that loan at 17 percent or more. By 1937 that teacher was able to enlist the support of 15 other local teachers. In January 1938 they started Thurston County Teachers Credit Union.
The fledgling credit union made its first loan for $150. It was off to a bustling start and it kept growing. In 1981 it merged with other credit unions from Grays Harbor County. This necessitated a name change to Twin County Credit Union. This change lasted only a year. The organization expanded again, bringing in credit unions from Centralia and Clark and Pierce Counties. In 2006 a new name was revealed: TwinStar Credit Union.
Because of TwinStar’s start as a teachers credit union, says Paulette Raico, director of marketing, “education is pretty special for us.” She notes that members can apply for college scholarships or for Classroom Cash.
“We have an employee who spends hours on the road,” Raico continues, “teaching financial literacy in classrooms from Tacoma to Portland, Yelm to Ocean Shores. You may not know this, but banks had to be compelled by the government to give back to local communities. Credit unions, on the other hand, have always been close to our members’ communities and the causes our members care about.”
To celebrate its history in the community, TwinStar Credit Union has created an 80-year commemorative booklet that includes historical facts and photos, and quotes from members and employees. TwinStar has also planted a ceremonial oak tree to commemorate 80 years of service in the community at the Lacey Administration building.
We congratulate TwinStar for 80 years serving the community!
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TwinStar Credit Union