Credit Union 101
Credit unions are no secret to the public. Chances are you know someone or have family members who bank with a local credit union. They may have explained why you should use a credit union, and we recommend doing your own research before making such a serious financial decision. So let’s take a crash course on a few main points and benefits of joining a credit union:
Members, Not Customers
When you join a credit union, you become a member, not a customer. Let us explain; when a savings account is opened at a credit union, you are actually buying shares of the credit union. As a shareholder, you own a part of the business and are considered an owner/member. Each member has a vote in how the credit union is operated.
Not for Profit
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions, and they promote the financial well-being of their members through a system that is cooperative, member owned, and volunteer directed. Earnings are returned to members in the form of better rates, fewer fees and unparalleled member service. Chances are good that you’ll earn more on your Certificate, qualify for awesome loan rates, and pay lower checking fees. In essence, credit unions are here for the members’ benefit – not to profit from them.
We have established that credit unions are not for profit, and their purpose is to serve members. But, what about your money? Credit Unions are just like banks in providing all of the same financial services like checking, savings, loans and online access but with the greatest possible return and at the lowest possible cost. And, your money is safe – Credit Union deposits are federally insured by the NCUA up to $250,000.
Worldwide Reach with Local Roots
Credit Unions were founded on the principle of people helping people with a long history of giving back in communities they serve. Many credit unions have roots in particular industries, schools, or communities. The members are your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. Through a cooperative effort of credit unions, members are afforded access to their accounts and are able to conduct business nationwide at more than 5,000 participating credit union locations within the CO-OP Shared Branch network, just as if they were at their local credit union branch.
In the world of personal banking, credit unions stand out. There are tons of reasons to join a credit union, and we hope these few are enough to get you started. Apply for membership or give us a call for more information and become a member today!