In preparation for International Credit Union Day, October 15th, we thought we would share a few facts about credit unions. Being a member of a credit union is a coup for your finances for many reasons. Here are just a few facts that make credit unions a great option.
Fact #1: President Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act in 1934 to promote thriftiness and prevent usury during the Great Depression.
Fact #2: Credit unions are insured. Most credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which provides essentially the same coverage on funds as does the FDIC. If the word “federal” is in the name, they are insured. If not, check with your credit union. It may be state-chartered and/or have private deposit insurance. Destinations Credit Union is chartered by the state of Maryland and Federally insured by NCUA.
Fact #3: Eligibility is fairly flexible at most credit unions. Most require residency in a certain community, city, or state, or that you are employed by the credit union’s sponsor company, also known as a Select Employee Group (SEG). But requirements are pretty broad on most, making eligibility at a credit union a possibility for almost anyone.
Fact #4: Credit unions are not-for-profit institutions and are owned by the people they serve, not by a few shareholders.
Fact #5: Credit unions can offer better rates on savings accounts, lower interest rates on loans, and little or no fees on accounts because they return their profits to the member/owners.
Fact #6: The credit union’s board of directors, which is elected by members, can set loan limits in an effort to help the credit union grow.
Fact #7: Credit union members have democratic control of the credit union and can attend and participate in regular and special membership meetings.
Fact #8: Nonmembers benefit from credit unions too. Competition for low rates keeps banks’ fees in check, thereby benefiting nonmembers.
Fact #9: With more than 5,000 credit unions across the globe and access to tens of thousands of ATMs, credit unions are increasingly convenient on a national scale. Destinations Credit Union is part of a national shared branching network, giving you access to your accounts all over.