Credit unions provide the same products and services as other financial institutions—but their not-for-profit status enables them to operate at lower cost than many for-profit institutions. Credit union members nationwide save $6.3 billion a year by using a credit union instead of a bank. This works out to be about $150 per household for credit union members. Credit unions can provide these savings because as not-for-profit institutions, they return earnings back to their members in the form of better rates and lower fees.
A nationwide network of shared ATMs and branches makes credit unions a convenient way to bank. By sharing facilities, many credit union members can access their accounts near where they live and work, as well as cash checks; make deposits; make cash and check withdrawals; make loan payments; transfer funds from and to any account; purchase money orders, Travelers Checks, and Official Checks; and obtain cash advances. Plus, a nationwide system of surcharge-free ATMs makes credit unions convenient for everyone.
Credit unions offer the same wide range of financial products and services as banks. Services vary by credit union, and are tailored to meet members’ needs. Services at your credit union may include:
--Alice A., member of Security Plus Federal Credit Union
- Credit cards with low or no annual fees and low interest rates
- Direct deposits, payroll deduction, ACH and wire deposits
- Financial education and counseling services
- High dividend rates on savings accounts, term certificates of deposit, IRAs, and money market accounts
- Investment services
- Low cost or free checking with low or no minimum balance requirements
- Low interest rates on mortgages, home equity loans or lines of credit, and vehicle and personal loans
- Notary services
- Online banking, bill payer, mobile banking, and e-statements
- And more
Because credit unions don’t exist to make a profit, their number one concern is not money—it’s the people who own them. In fact, in consumer polls, credit unions consistently earn higher customer satisfaction ratings when compared to banks. When you bank at a credit union, you can count on getting great service from knowledgeable professionals who will work with you to achieve your financial goals.
Credit unions live by the philosophy of “people helping people,” and have a long history of giving back to the communities they serve through a variety of charitable activities—from offering financial services to underserved populations, to engaging youth in financial education, to returning profits to their members. Credit unions strengthen the connection between their members and the community and improve the quality of life for those in need of financial services.