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Why Credit Unions Are Worth Celebrating

  1. What is a credit union?
  • Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives. That simply means:
    • We offer the same services as other financial institutions, but return our profits to members. That’s why we have better rates and fewer fees.
    • We are owned by our members, not shareholders, so our money stays in the community, and we work for you, not far-away shareholders.
  1. Why are credit unions a better deal than other financial institutions?
  • Credit unions are not-for-profit, so they don’t pay corporate income taxes—though they do pay lots of other taxes, such as property, sales and employment taxes. These savings are passed onto members.
  • Credit unions offer superior service and want to see members succeed, because they work for you—not shareholders.
  1. Who can join?
  • Almost anyone can join a credit union. There are lots of ways.

In 1924, Roy Bergengren, one of the architects of the credit union movement, reflected on what a credit union can do for people:

“The credit union is, in fact, a bridge,” Bergengren wrote in the inaugural issue of “The Bridge,” the first official newsletter of the American credit union movement. It may be the way that opens the great land of opportunity to the wage worker, who finds his savings the ‘open sesame’ to broader possibilities for himself and his family.”

Twenty-four years later, in 1948, credit unions in America, and later around the world, began celebrating the philosophy and achievements of credit unions every year on the third Thursday in October. The theme for International Credit Union Day 2017 is “Dreams Thrive Here”. It’s meant to serve as a reminder of how effective credit unions like The Family Credit Union are at helping all people chase and achieve their biggest dreams in life.

Unlike other financial institutions, credit unions are not-for-profit, so their primary purpose isn’t to score record profits in order to cut distant shareholders bigger dividends checks. Rather, the primary purpose of credit unions is—and always has been—to be of service to their members. That means you.

This people-first philosophy doesn’t just mean better service, it translates into a better financial deal for consumers. Credit unions, on average, offer higher rates of return on savings accounts, lower rates on loans, and fewer and lower fees than other financial institutions.