What is a Credit Union?
In the US, there are approximately 13,500 member/owned cooperative financial institutions, serving approximately 91 million members. Their roots go back to 1849 when the first credit union was established in Western Europe.
It's About Membership.
Membership is ownership:
When you're a member you're an owner. That's the credit union difference! Because you are one of the owners there is a difference in the services you receive and the way you are treated at a credit union.
A Unique Financial Institution:
A credit union is a unique financial institution. It isn't a bank. It isn't a savings & loan association. In fact, it isn't really in existence for the purpose of making money. A credit union is actually a financial cooperative. It's owned by the members, and it enables all the members to pool their savings, lend them to one another, and own the organization where they save, borrow and receive other financial services.
Volunteers Help Control Costs:
This brings us to another unique credit union feature: volunteerism. Many people working at the credit union, including our credit committees, supervisory committee and even our board of directors are unpaid volunteers! This not only helps control costs but enables the organization to concentrate on service to our member/owners.
One of the major objectives of the credit union is to educate members as consumers, helping them to get more from their money, and advising members on where to get the best financial services for their particular situation…even if that source does not happen to be the credit union.
The level of service at the credit union remains high and the rates remain favorable. That is why a recent survey revealed that credit union members are the most satisfied users of any financial institution... and the least likely to change financial institutions.
The field of membership of the credit union consists of only one group:
Employees of Nucor Corporation and their immediate families.