Credit unions are full-service financial cooperatives and offer such services as savings and checking accounts, various types of loans, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards and credit cards, and other financial services.
There are some important differences between credit unions and other financial institutions, however:
CREDIT UNIONS ARE NOT-FOR-PROFIT
They exist solely to serve their members. Profits are returned to the members in the form of higher dividends paid on deposit accounts, and lower rates on loan accounts.
CREDIT UNIONS ARE MEMBER-OWNED
Business decisions are made on the basis of what is best for the members, not the stockholders.
CREDIT UNIONS ARE DEMOCRATICALLY CONTROLLED
Members are entitled to vote for the Board of Directors, the leadership body of the Credit Union.
BENEFITS OF CREDIT UNION MEMBERSHIP
- Dividend-paying savings and checking accounts
- Higher rates on savings accounts
- Competitive loan rates
- Little or no service fees
- Direct deposit and payroll deduction options
- Personal service