Credit Unions are Different
New federal laws and regulations are changing the structure and face of the financial services industry. In this time of accelerating change, it is important to truly understand how credit unions are unique and different, and why we remain a necessary and extremely popular financial alternative for more than 90 million Americans.
As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, a credit union exists to financially serve its members, not to make a profit. Credit unions don't issue stock or have stockholders. Instead, earnings are returned to members in the form of lower loan rates, higher interest on deposits, and lower fees.
People Helping People
The Credit Union Motto: People Helping People. This isn't just a catchy slogan, it's a philosophy credit unions put into practice every day. Whether times are good or bad, we're here to serve you. We are people living in your communities working together to help you increase your financial game.
Credit unions are governed by their board of directors: individuals elected by and from the credit union's membership. Board members serve voluntarily, without pay.
Credit unions are an Economic Democracy. Each credit union member has equal ownership and voting power, regardless of how big the credit union is or how much money the member has in their account. You won't hear the word "customer" at credit union; every "customer" is both a member and an owner.
Credit unions assist members to become better-educated consumers of financial services. A national study shows that just ten hours of personal finance education can positively affect students' spending and savings habits for a lifetime.
By current federal statute, credit unions can't serve the general public. You can qualify for credit union membership through your employer, organizational affiliations like churches or social groups, or based on the community you live, work, or attend school in.
Your savings is federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government National Credit Union Administration, a U.S. Government agency.