The Credit Union was founded in 1946 in Springfield, Illinois with 27 charter members. Today, Heartland Credit Union is a source for more than just credit. We are a home town institution offering complete member services for every financial need. Heartland Credit Union provides service to more than 25,000 members at four convenient locations in Springfield, as well as on-line and phone access.Our Mission:To Improve Members' LivesCore Values - Service, Integrity, Respect, Leadership and ReliabilityHeartland Credit Union's core values define the values that inspire the actions of our staff regarding the members we serve. They are a part of our culture and guide us as we pursue our mission. Benefits of a Credit UnionA credit union is a unique provider of financial services. It is a not-for-profit financial cooperative, owned by the members it serves. These members are individuals that have a common bond with each other. (Example - A group of people who reside in the same general geographic area.) There are no stockholders or investors. Earnings are returned to the member/owners through lower loan rates, higher dividends and fewer fees.Seven Cooperative Principles for Credit UnionsVoluntary MembershipCredit unions are voluntary, cooperative organizations, offering services to people willing to accept the responsibilities and benefits of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.Many cooperatives, such as credit unions, operate as not-for-profit institutions with volunteer board of directors. In the case of credit unions, members are drawn from defined fields of membership.Democratic Member ControlCooperatives are democratic organizations owned and controlled by their members, one member one vote, with equal opportunity for participation in setting policies and making decisions.Members Economic ParticipationMembers are the owners. As such they contribute to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the transactions with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested.For credit unions, which typically offer better rates, fees and service than for-profit financial institutions, members recognize benefits in proportion to the extent of their financial transactions and general usage.Autonomy and IndependenceCooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If the cooperative enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the member and maintains the cooperative autonomy.Education, Training and InformationCooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of the cooperative.Credit Unions place particular importance on educational opportunities for their volunteer directors, and financial education for their members and the public, especially the nations youth. Credit unions also recognize the importance of ensuring the general public and policy makers are informed about the nature, structure and benefits of cooperatives.Cooperation Among CooperativesCooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, state, regional, national, and international structures.Concern for CommunityWhile focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities, including people of modest means, through policies developed and accepted by the members.These seven 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 community.