8 Basic Facts About Credit Unions

Thursday, January 14th, 2021
Sign on small oil pump outside of borger federal credit union in Borger, Texas

As an alternative to banks, credit unions offer a variety of benefits and options to serve the needs of members. These not-for-profit institutions are owned by their members, so they are able to provide more than the average bank. Interested in learning more? Check out these facts about credit unions.

1. Credit unions aren’t insured the same as banks

While banks are insured through the FDIC(Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), credit unions are insured by the NCUA (National Credit Union Association). Both are federal organizations that insure financial institutions and regulate their operations. All federal credit unions, and many state or local credit unions are insured by the NCUA, which means your deposits are safe.

2. You must meet certain requirements to join

This may sound like an inconvenience, but this ensures that everyone who is part of a credit union has something in common. This could be your profession or where you live. The goal of the requirements isn’t to limit membership, but to create camaraderie and dedication towards the credit union and its members.

3. Once you are a member, you are ALWAYS a member

No matter what circumstances in your life change, you will always have your credit union membership. This is true even if you move or change jobs. You can always bank somewhere else if you move, but you can trust that your original membership (and the relationship you have with the staff) will always be there.

4. All credit union members have a vote

Think of credit unions as democratically governed institutions. They are managed by a board of elected directors, so your vote really does matter. It is important to keep up with the happenings at your credit union so you can be sure it is managed properly. You won’t get this type of interaction at a bank.

5. You will have to open a share account

In order to have a membership at a credit union, you must have a share account. This will have a minimum balance that must be kept for the account to stay open, even if you are only signing on to get a loan. The money you invest will gain dividends or interest, and it proves your membership with the institution.

6. Some credit unions may share branches

Smaller credit unions sometimes share branch access to better serve their members. It may not seem beneficial, but you and all the members of each institution could have access across the country. If this is a service that you think you might need, ask the credit unions you are interested in joining about shared branches.

7. Credit unions offer different services

Not all of these institutions provide the same services and benefits. Before you join one, be sure the credit union offers what you are looking for. Ask about loans, mobile banking options, financial education, locations, ATM choices, and more.

8. You will see lots of benefits at credit unions

When you ask about services, be sure to ask about benefits too. You will see lower rates on loans, larger loan amounts, higher savings rates, and personalized services. You may also be able to get same-day signatures for loans, gap insurance, warranty coverage, and so much more. Credit unions are usually small, community-focused organizations so they will often be more caring and attentive to your financial needs.

Interested in learning more about credit unions?

If you would like to join a credit union, or learn more about these organizations, contact Borger Federal Credit Union today. You can reach us at (806) 273-9506 to speak with a member of our Team and get more information about our Services. At BFCU, your membership truly matters!