Become a Member-Owner today!

Welcome to the Arrha Family!

To gain the benefits of membership at Arrha Credit Union, stop into one of our offices located at:

  • 145 Industry Avenue, Springfield, MA 01104
  • 63 Park Avenue, West Springfield, MA 01089

Don't forget your valid photo identification. Any questions, please call our office at 413-732-9812.

Ready to Join?

Membership with Arrha Credit Union is open to anyone who lives or works in Hampden, Hampshire or Franklin counties in Massachusetts, and Hartford and Tolland counties in Connecticut, and immediate family members.

That's right, we're now open to the public.

FAQs About Credit Unions

by Center for Personal Finance editors 

Today 7,000 credit unions serve more than 97 million Americans around the country. Even if you're already a credit union member, you may not understand how credit unions differ from financial institutions like banks. This "frequently asked question" series can help answer your questions.

What is a credit union?

A credit union is a cooperative financial institution, owned and controlled by its members. Credit unions typically serve groups of people who have something in common—where they live, work, or attend church, for example. Becoming a member of a credit union carries power because credit unions are not-for-profit, and exist to provide members with a place to save money and get loans at reasonable rates.

How did credit unions form?

Credit unions were created to enable people to pool their financial resources to help themselves and each other.

What is the credit union philosophy?

In 1935, when credit unions were helping Americans through the Great Depression, the treasurer of a Midwestern credit union said that credit unions were "not for profit, not for charity, but for service," and that philosophy holds true today.

Credit unions continue to look out for their members' interests and provide a level of service that generally is not available at other financial institutions.

Credit unions continue to look out for their members' interests and provide a level of service that generally is not available at other financial institutions. Whether it's providing a loan to help a member cover unexpected medical bills, giving financial counseling to a member whose employer closed its doors, or simply offering a better deal on a used-car loan or mortgage, credit unions make a difference for their members and the communities they serve. In 1984, the World Council of Credit Unions approved the nine International Credit Union Operating Principles that remain the cornerstone of the credit union movement. They are:

  • Open and voluntary membership
  • Democratic control
  • Nondiscrimination
  • Service to members
  • Distribution to members
  • Building financial stability
  • Ongoing education
  • Cooperation among cooperatives
  • Social responsibility

These principles are founded in the philosophy of cooperation and its central values of equality, equity, and mutual self-help. They express, around the world, the principles of human development and the brotherhood of man through people working together to achieve a better life for themselves and their communities.

What makes a credit union different from a bank?

Like banks, credit unions accept deposits and make loans—but unlike banks, credit unions are not in business to make a profit. Banks exist to make money for their stockholders, not for their depositors. Credit unions exist solely to serve their member-owners, and benefits are returned in lower loan rates and higher deposit rates. Credit unions are the only democratically controlled financial institutions in the U.S. Members elect a volunteer board of qualified individuals to oversee the credit union and the president reports to this board. Bank directors, however, are paid and legally bound to make decisions that benefit stockholders, not customers. For example, last year, on average, each credit union member got a direct financial benefit of $62. That came from lower rates on loans, higher returns on savings, and lower and fewer fees than he or she would have paid by doing business with a bank.

Credit unions are focused on people, not profits.

But that $62 benefit is only an average. Active members who use many credit union services often see even greater benefits. The annual difference amounts to about $6 billion spread among 97 million credit union members nationwide.