Credit unions are financial institutions owned and operated by members who share a common bond. Credit unions have been providing a wide range of financial services for more than 150 years and have a lower cost of banking. Since members and not shareholders own credit unions, there is a sense of accountability in which the members hold the credit union account to its community’s needs.
A credit union is a type of financial institution that members instead of stockholders own. These members are typically people with shared interests and goals. Credit union members share a common bond on which they establish a credit union.
- Insured Deposits
Since credit unions are not-for-profit entities, they are insured by the NCUSIF, or National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, administered by the NCUA, National Credit Union Administration.
- Low Charges and Rates
Credit unions provide customers with competitive interest rates. They also offer low charges and rates on various services as a bonus. Credit unions have no outside expenses like profit to pay for. Credit unions are owned by their members and are not for profit. Credit union delinquencies are usually less than 10% compared to banks’ 10%.
- High Interest on Savings
Credit Union interest rates tend to be higher than that of banks. Credit unions have no shareholders’ money and thus have no profit to pay for. Credit unions can utilize this low cost of banking to encourage members to deposit their funds, in part or whole, and at a time when it is most needed.
- Investments in Your Community
As a credit union, the community has access to all its members’ savings, portfolios, and investments. A credit union is essentially a single entity that serves many. As such, they can generally make investments in the community’s best interest rather than purely on the business model of profit.
- Education Benefits
Credit unions also provide a full line of banking and financial service courses to members. There are also seminars and community events held throughout the year. These sessions include financial counseling, investment strategies, and retirement planning. Credit unions are a great alternative to banks, providing financial services at cost, and are run solely for the benefit of their members.
- Right to Vote
Since credit union members share the same bond, they have a direct vote on issues that affect their credit union. It allows each member to be heard while still having a collective interest. As the group grows and changes, so do the credit union and its benefits.
Credit unions provide the same services as banks but at a lower cost. They are also community-oriented and can thus offer better investment opportunities. Credit unions have provided members with financial services for more than 150 years, and financial services continue to be in demand. As communities change over time, so does the scope of services provided by credit unions to satisfy their members’ needs. The fact that credit union members share a common bond means that their needs are valued as one group rather than split into shareholders and their interests.