What’s A Credit Union?

September 4, 2007

That’s a question that gets asked all the time.  People have heard about credit unions, but are not really sure what they are.  So, what’s a credit union, and how is it different from other financial institutions?

Your credit union is a different kind of financial institution.  It offers all of the same products and services, and is managed by financial professionals.  Here are four key factors that set credit unions apart from other financial institutions:

1. You are an owner.  Members who belong to the credit union are its owners, not merely customers. That’s because credit unions are set up as not-for-profit cooperatives.

2. You pay lower loan rates and earn higher dividends.  Because credit unions are not-for-profit businesses, they return income to members, in lower loan rates and higher savings rates, instead of paying stockholders.  Also, unpaid qualified volunteers serve on the credit unions’ boards and committees, unlike banks which have paid boards and committees.  This means lower costs of doing business!  Credit unions pass along those savings to members in the form of better deals.

3. You pay lower fees.  At the credit union, you’ll find no or lower ATM fees, lower service charges on checking accounts, and lower fees than fees at banks.

4. You get extra attention.  Credit union staff help members toward financial health.  We are here to answer members’ questions or offer one-to-one counseling.

Hope this helps answer the question, about “What’s a credit union!”  If not, let us know.