Back in 1933, state workers could barely manage to make ends meet on a daily basis during the Great Depression. A low salary combined with a high cost of living was the common, yet unfortunate way of life for many. A death in the family, a birth, dentistry that could not be postponed, any unavoidable large expense, was enough to plunge the average state employee deep into debt.
Illegal loan sharks and money lenders charging 42% interest were some of the only choices available to these state workers. Bankers viewed state workers with little or no collateral as a credit risk. As a matter of necessity, PSECU was born.
PSECU founder, H. Andrew Hanemann, aided in the passage of the State Credit Union Act. Mr. Hanemann was also instrumental in the development of the Pennsylvania Credit Union League (the trade organization that represents the political, legal and economic interests of Pennsylvania credit unions).
Our charter is approved on December 27, 1933. Local Harrisburg participants are required to pay an entrance fee of 25¢ and purchase one share for $5 to be a member. We open for business at the beginning of 1934 with 22 members and $90 in assets. By the end of the year, we have 751 members and $17,892.14 in assets. By the end of the decade, we reach $265,879.14 in assets.
Our membership increases to 9,030. We begin to distribute our first newsletters to increase membership. At one point, we have almost $50,000 in defense bonds to help aid the United States during World War II. After more than 15 years in business, we have $312,897.70 in assets.
Since its start nearly twenty years before, we have loaned our members more than $8.33 million, helping them cover the costs of everything from dentist fees to coal/heating bills. We also expand our services by increasing the amount a member can deposit each month from $5 to $10.
We begin the decade by reaching $500,000 in assets. By the close of the decade, we have more than $2 million in assets. We continue to advance our technology by installing an electronic ledger system to help employees and members manage their money more efficiently.
We introduce personal service loans which allow members to borrow up to $750. In 1977, we grow more than the previous 43 years combined, reaching an asset total of $12,915,925.76. We also open our new office in the Kline Village shopping center in Harrisburg.
We expand our services to help members manage their money. Direct Deposit, MAC®, PSECU's Visa®, and our auto loan product known as AutoDraft are added. Membership is opened up to students and alumni of schools in the State System of Higher Education, and membership numbers reach over 100,000. PSECU becomes one of the fastest-growing credit unions in the nation.
Early in 1990, we move into our current location at One Credit Union Place in Harrisburg. Our president, Gregory A. Smith, is appointed in 1991. We develop Online Banking, a program that allows members to complete personal transactions from the convenience of their home computer. Our Web site is launched providing information about our services and giving members a way to manage their personal accounts. By the end of the century, we have more than 250,000 members.
PocketTeller, a service that lets our members access their accounts from their mobile phone, is introduced in 2001. The UPost@Home® program, allowing our members to make deposits from their computer, is also introduced in late 2001. Membership tops 340,000 in October 2008, the kick off of our yearlong 75th Anniversary celebration. As financial needs change, PSECU will adapt to those needs. We are committed to providing the best possible service to our current and future members.