Your neighborhood credit union has a lot to offer. Maybe you’ve driven by it, but have a few questions. What is it? Can I become a member? How is it different from a bank?

That’s okay. We understand you may have questions. That’s why we’re building the ultimate guide to credit unions: a collection of frequently asked questions with straightforward answers.

If you don’t see a question answered here, submit the form and we’ll consider it for a future update. Dig in and find answers to questions you’ve been asking about credit unions.

What is a Credit Union?

Like banks, credit unions provide financial services including loans and deposits to consumers. Unlike banks, which are owned by shareholders, credit unions are owned by their depositors - and operate not-for-profit. Members pool resources creating opportunities for better rates and more competitve lending. Credit Unions march to “the credit union philosophy” of members helping members.
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What Is The Difference Between A Bank & A Credit Union?

One of the core differences between banks and credit unions is ownership. Members own credit unions and all depositors are members. When you open an account at a credit union, you become part owner.
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How Does a Credit Union Work?

Credit unions operate much like banks offering many of the same financial services. At your local credit union, you may open a checking or savings account or get a car loan and at many credit unions get a mortgage.
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What Are the Benefits of a Credit Union?

Because credit unions are nonprofit organizations, they can keep their earnings to benefit members. The credit union can use that money in many ways. For example, some credit unions pay an annual dividend check.
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Who Can Join a Credit Union?

There’s a credit union for everyone. Membership requirements may vary from credit union to credit union. Requirements are often based on where you live or work.
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How Do I Join a Credit Union?

To join a credit union, you first need to satisfy their membership requirements. Most credit unions describe their rules on their "About Us" web page.
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How Much Does it Cost to Join a Credit Union?

Being a credit union member doesn’t “cost” anything. But there are deposit account minimums to be met. Becoming a member of a credit union usually requires a small deposit of $5 – $25.
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Why Do Credit Unions Have Better Rates?

Because credit unions are non-profit entities; they don’t pay state and federal taxes. This saving allows credit unions to provide low-interest rates on loans.
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Is My Money Insured at a Credit Union?

You’ve heard of FDIC insurance – Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This is the insurance that banks will have. But does FDIC insurance apply to credit unions? The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) insures credit unions.
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How Do I Find a Credit Union?

Finding a credit union starts by answering a few questions here. Your information will be kept secure and used to help find the credit unions that you uniquely match membership requirements to.
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