In 1980, the Center for Community Self-Help began—not as a credit union, but as a small venture to help low-wage workers displaced from textile jobs. Our founders, Martin Eakes and Bonnie Wright, quickly realized that workers couldn’t get far without affordable financing. Thus, they started a different kind of cooperative: Self-Help Credit Union.
Forty years later, we celebrate an eventful journey with our members and partners as Self-Help Credit Union, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, Self-Help Ventures Fund and the Center for Responsible Lending. We are immensely grateful to all who have joined us to build on the strengths of the communities we serve by expanding economic opportunities.
Two Credit Unions, Many Legacies
Through mergers with other credit unions and financial institutions, we have been able to extend our reach and help preserve affordable financial services in areas where the need is high. As we celebrate our anniversary, we are mindful that many of our merged partners started long before Self-Help—one nearly a century earlier.