The concept of a credit union was born in Germany in 1850 in response to widespread crop failure and economic depression that left many citizens near poverty and at the mercy of heartless moneylenders. Credit unions began as, and remain so today, financial cooperatives: The more people save in a credit union, the more money that’s available to be loaned back to those members at a reasonable interest rate. Members contribute to the organization’s capital by buying at least one share. That one share entitles the member to one vote in the entirely member-owned and operated organization.
Bulldog Federal Credit Union was organized on July 16, 1968, by a group of Mack Truck Union Local 171 employees to provide their coworkers with an economical alternative to local finance companies that charged high interest rates and imposed stiff penalties for late payments. Volunteers, primarily the first board of directors and committee members, were responsible for day-to-day operations. Members were recruited and deposits were collected at lunch time. To join, a member deposited $5 for his “share” and paid 25 cents for a membership card.
In January 1970, with nearly 1,300 members, the board of directors hired a paid staff. In 1982, the field of membership was expanded to include other sponsor companies in an effort to mitigate downturns in any one sector of the economy. This diversification has enabled Bulldog to maintain its financial soundness and enjoy steady, controlled growth.
Bulldog was granted a “community charter” in March 2001 by the National Credit Union Administration. Under the community charter, anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Washington County, Maryland, can join Bulldog Federal Credit Union.
Today Bulldog boasts six full-service offices; seven proprietary ATMs; a host of today’s most in-demand electronic services; and more than 21,000 members with more than $120 million in assets.
To view a detailed timeline of Bulldog’s first 50 years, click here.
The mission of Bulldog Federal Credit Union is to provide our members with a full-service financial institution with personal, competitive and cost-effective services, keeping in mind that our members are special and deserve courteous and efficient service… in essence, to become our members’ primary financial institution.