Credit Union Credit Union Facts

Getting the facts about Credit Unions

Credit unions have been serving the financial needs of our communities for over a hundred years. And they continue to do it with this motto: People Helping People.

More and more people are putting their trust in credit unions for a few simple reasons:

  • Credit unions are a safe and sound place to bank.
  • Credit unions are locally owned by members. They're not-for-profit cooperatives whose purpose is to serve its members, not stockholders.
  • Credit unions return profits to their member-owners—YOU—by offering better rates and lower fees on services.

It’s easier than you think to join. One misconception about credit unions is that the only way to join is through a group, such as your school or job. Not so. There may be a credit union serving your neighborhood! Or, you may be eligible through a family member, community group, association, or place of worship. Almost anyone can join a credit union. Use our locator to contact a credit union near you.

Safe and Sound

Your money is safe.

Credit unions are backed by the "full faith and credit" of the U.S. government. The National Credit Union Association (NCUA), a U.S. government agency like the FDIC, insures deposits to at least $250,000.

The backbone of banking safety for consumers, NCUA protection applies to your credit union savings, checking, money market, certificates, trusts or retirement accounts—important for your peace of mind!

Credit unions are sound.

Credit union lending practices have always put consumer interests first.

  • Credit unions experience extremely low net loss rates in general—even in current conditions—thanks to a cooperative structure that discourages excessive risk taking.

Today, credit unions are well-capitalized and financially strong.

  • Credit unions are poised to assist in economic recovery and have money to lend.

Rest assured, every credit union is regulated and examined consistently by either the NCUA or a state credit union government agency to ensure the safety and soundness of its operations.

And they're local.

Credit unions are structured to serve the communities in which they operate:

  • Credit unions provide financial education and literacy programs to help your and your family better manage your money.
  • Credit unions reinvest in the communities they serve. Remember, credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions. They still make money, but they give it back to their member-owners in the form of better rates and lower fees on services and by way of dividends.

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Better rates. Lower fees.

Whether it’s a loan for school, a car, or a mortgage, credit unions can help without tying you to high interest rates. Credit unions are usually able to offer members better interest rates, helping you take charge of your financial life.

  • Credit unions return profits, after expenses and reserves, to members in the form of dividends on savings, low rates on loans, and new or improved services.
  • Credit unions do not try and take advantage of you with unexplained fees. They usually offer no or lower fees on products and services so you get to keep and save more of YOUR money.

Getting a loan from a credit union is easy, and it makes a lot of sense. Things to consider when shopping for your next loan:

  • Credit unions can offer very competitive interest rates.
  • Most credit unions charge very low or no fees at all for their services.
  • Credit unions offer a variety of terms that suit your lifestyle.

    • Longer terms will help spread the amount of your loan over an extended period to keep monthly amounts lower.
    • A shorter term means that you will pay the loan off faster and therefore pay less interest.
  • Wherever you go for your car loan, remember to look at the big picture and consider the total cost of the loan - large loans can end up hurting you in the long run.

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