Eighty years ago, America was in the grip of the Great Depression. The average house cost a little over $4,000, a gallon of gas cost 10 cents, and a Ford Tudor sedan cost $579. The average yearly wage was $1,780.
Like many workers of the time, Olympia High School teachers could not find loans from banks at reasonable rates and terms. By collectively pooling their funds, a credit union would give their fellow teachers the financial ability to do what they needed to get ahead in life.
So, the teachers decided to form their own credit union. Olympia High School teachers Dewey Noblitt and Henry Gaines spearheaded the project. On January 3, 1938, the articles of incorporation were signed, and Thurston County Teachers Credit Union was born.
Because of the strong faith in the integrity and loyalty of the membership, the credit union issued personal signature loans (loans unsecured by collateral). It was not until 1948 that a loss on a loan was reported. The loss was 85 cents.
For many years, savings accounts, personal loans and auto loans were the bread and butter of the credit union. Over time, members needed additional products and services. Mr. Noblitt could not have imagined online banking or paying for things with a tap of your phone.
In 1938 there were 58 members. Today we are over 100,000 members strong. As our field of membership grew, Thurston County Teachers Credit Union became Twin County Credit Union, and then TwinStar Credit Union. Some things, however, never change. Our roots are in education, our members make the credit union who we are, and we still exist to help members realize their financial dreams…together.