A credit union is a not-for-profit, cooperative financial institution that is owned and controlled by the people who use its services – credit union members. Credit unions are for everyone, but the law places some limits on the people that they may serve. Members of credit unions share a common bond, such as being employed at the same workplace, belonging to the same church or fraternal organization, or living in the same area.
ARE CREDIT UNIONS REGULATED? SECURE?
Credit unions, like other financial institutions, are closely regulated and meet high standards of safety and soundness. The National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), administered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the federal government, insures deposits of credit union members for up to $250,000.00.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CREDIT UNIONS AND BANKS?
Like credit unions, these financial institutions accept deposits and make loans. However, credit union services are typically offered at better rates due to their unique operation. While banks and savings and loans must make a profit for their shareholders, credit unions exist only to serve their members. Therefore, credit unions return their profits, after expenses and reserves, to members in the form of dividends on savings, low rates on loans, and new or improved services.