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Consumer Information

What is a Credit Union?

Credit unions are member-owned. When you deposit money into a credit union account you become, not only a member, but also an owner.

Unlike banks, credit unions are non-profit organizations that serve their members rather than seek to earn profits. Credit unions use the money that you and other members deposit to make loans to other credit union members, usually offering lower loan rates and reduced fees, as well as offering better savings rates to their members.

How do I join a credit union?

To join a credit union, you must meet certain membership requirements. The requirements vary depending on how a credit union is organized, but they typically involve being a member of an employee group such as a state or local government employee, an association, or a community. Visit our Credit Union Directory to find a credit union that may serve your needs.

Advantages of credit unions

Most credit unions offer a more personalized service experience by having decision-makers within the local community. By allowing direct access to the people making decisions, you are often able to customize your financial transactions, allow for more flexibility, and shorten the time necessary for a decision.

Additional advantages

  • Credit unions may offer higher interest rates on checking accounts and savings accounts than traditional banks.
  • Credit unions aim to keep fees low, so the fees they do charge could be lower than competing banks.
  • Many credit unions offer no-fee ATM access.

If you are looking for a personal loan, car loan, or mortgage, you should compare the rates and terms offered by your local credit unions to see if you’re getting the best deal.