What is a credit union

Not-For-Profit: The Credit Union Difference

To understand what makes your credit union different, it helps to know more about just what a bank and a credit union are. While there are exceptions, each institution can be described in a general way.

A Bank is a financial institution, chartered by the state or federal government, which accepts deposits and makes loans to people and corporations for a profit.

A Credit Union is a cooperative, not-for-profit financial institution chartered by the state or federal government, which is owned and controlled by its members and organized to promote thrift and provide credit to those who belong. A credit union may only serve members who share a common bond such as that of employment, community or organization.

Your credit union may offer many of the same services as other financial institutions. Unlike them, your credit union is not in business to make a profit. It exists to provide you with a safe, convenient place to save and to obtain loans at a reasonable rate. And since it is a cooperative, your credit union is not owned by a company, by an individual, or by some distant corporation with little interest in you beyond how much profit it can make. You own your credit union or at least a share in it.

Service To Members: People Helping People

The credit union commitment to service is as old as the credit union movement itself. Ever since the first one was formed in the United States in 1908, credit unions have grown and prospered because of a deep-rooted belief in the idea that peoples dreams can become real when they work together. The dedication to this principle is just as strong today as it ever was. But what does that mean to you? Simply put, its your assurance of a fair deal. Here are the facts:

Credit Unions offer competitive, often higher return rates.

While rates may vary from time to time, Credit Unions consistently offer more affordable loan rates. They can often cut through much of the unnecessary red tape to get you that loan faster.

Fully Insured: Your Safety Net

Credit unions are ideally suited to be your first choice in financial matters. If your money is entrusted to your credit union, it couldn't be in a safer place. Like other insured financial institutions, your credit union is covered by an insurance fund established and maintained to protect your money.

A Fair Shake

Do you think your credit union is just the same as a bank or any other financial institution?

The banking industry wants you to think so. In fact, banks have persuaded the courts and some of our nations lawmakers that there's no difference at all! They hear that credit unions provide many of the same services as other financial institutions and come to the mistaken belief that the only difference is in the name.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Your credit union is different, in one important way. When you go to your credit union, rather than the credit union asking "How much profit can we make?", your credit union wants to know, "How can we help?".