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Sentry Credit Union History

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Serving Sentry Associates Since 1935

Sentry Credit Union was founded in Stevens Point (WI) back in 1935 by Sentry Employees. In 1935, Sentry Insurance was named Hardware Mutual Casualty Company and SCU was named Hardware Mutual Casualty Credit Union. The Credit Union was incorporated as a cooperative, non-profit organization owned and managed by the Members. The Credit Union was established to encourage thrift among the Members and to provide a source of credit at fair and reasonable interest rates.

Many Credit Unions Formed

Also in 1935, the Hardware Dealers Mutual Fire Insurance Company (sister company to Hardware Mutual Casualty) founded their own Credit Union separate from that of Hardware Mutual Casualty Credit Union. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s as the insurance company grew and expanded nationwide, several other separate Credit Unions were formed in other states to serve the Hardware Mutual Casualty Employees. In the late 1950s, the insurance company took on the name of Sentry Insurance — and the Credit Union became Sentry Credit Union. By 1963, there were 13 Credit Unions located around the U.S. serving Sentry Employees.

Merger Mania

Today, there is just one Sentry Credit Union as the result of several mergers. The first merger occurred in 1942 when the Hardware Mutual Casualty CU joined together with the Hardware Dealers Mutual Fire Insurance CU to form one home office credit union. In 1963, a study was conducted that revealed the 13 separate credit unions could cut operating expenses and provide a greater benefit to Members by merging the credit unions into one. The process was started in 1964 and was completed by eleven (11) of the credit unions in December 1966. Their combined assets were $1.4 million. Two credit unions — Dallas and New England — did not initially merge into Sentry Credit Union. The credit union in Dallas merged in 1982 and the New England (Concord, Mass.) Credit Union merged in 1990.