About Credit Unions

What is a credit union and how is a credit union different than a bank? Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members. Like banks, credit unions accept deposits, make loans and provide a wide array of other financial services. But as member-owned and cooperative institutions, credit unions provide a safe place to save and borrow at reasonable rates.

What Is A Credit Union Member Owned

You’re more than a member, you are a part owner.

Credit unions are owned and controlled by the people, or members, who use their services.

Your vote counts. A volunteer board of directors is elected by members to manage a credit union.

What Is A Credit Union Not For Profit

Credit unions are not-for-profit.

Credit unions operate to promote the well-being of their members.

Profits made by credit unions are returned back to members in the form of reduced fees, higher savings rates and lower loan rates.

What Is A Credit Union Common Bond

Credit union members share a common bond.

Many credit unions serve anyone that lives, works, worships or attends school in a particular geographic area. Membership in a group, such as a place of worship, school, labor union or homeowners’ association may also qualify you to join.

Many employers also sponsor their own credit unions and most credit unions allow members’ families to join.

What Is A Credit Union Shared Interests

Credit union members often have shared interests

Members often have shared interests and appreciate participating in an institution designed to help other members.

Credit unions may provide financial education and outreach to consumers, in-school credit union branches, and small business needs.

Credit Unions Are Cooperative

The cooperative structure of credit unions creates a cycle of mutual assistance towards the common goal of the financial well-being of members. One member’s savings becomes another member’s loan.

Learn More About Credit Unions

  • Find An Answer — More than 300 answers to frequently asked questions on consumer protection and share insurance matters.
  • Share Insurance Estimator — Calculate the amount of your insured funds at a federally insured credit union.
  • NCUA’s YouTube Channel — View NCUA’s Consumer Report series to learn more about current financial hot topics.