What’s a Credit Union?

family2Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions. They offer many of the same products and services as banks—including savings and checking accounts, loans, ATMs and online banking—but there are also big differences that can save you money. Credit unions are owned and controlled by their members, not profit-driven shareholders. That means the average credit union can offer better rates and lower fees. Learn about joining a credit union today!

How do credit unions work?

Credit unions are democratically owned institutions based on “people helping people” principles. Members elect credit union boards of directors; each member has an equal vote, regardless of how much he or she has on deposit. Only members may serve as directors, and directors serve without remuneration. Volunteers are an important credit union resource. Presently, more than 129,000 Americans volunteer for their credit unions, serving as board members, committee members or providing other assistance. Finally, credit unions have no outside stockholders, so after reserves are set aside, earnings are returned to members in the form of dividends on savings, lower loan rates or additional services.

How can someone join a credit union?

There are two kinds of credit unions…those open to employees of particular businesses, called Select Employee Groups, and those open to a particular community, called “Community Chartered.”  The Stark County Chapter is made up of credit unions of both kinds.

The best source to find out if you are eligible to join a credit union is to visit A Smarter Choice.