Governance— Credit unions are locally owned by the members who do business with them, not stockholders. Credit union members elect the board of directors from among the membership. A credit union board looks out for members' best interests, not just maximizing the bottom line.
Purpose— Not-for-profit credit unions exist solely to meet the financial needs of their member owners. Because they have no stockholders expecting dividends, earnings are invested in members in the form of more competitive rates of return on accounts, lower interest on loans, lower fees and improved services. A credit union's primary concern is its members' success.
Member Benefits— Money made by a credit union is invested in members. Whether through competitive product pricing - which helps working people stretch their money farther - or by offering services members may not be able to get somewhere else. Credit unions treat all members equally regardless of how much they have on deposit. They also make loans considered "too small" for profit-driven institutions. Finally, credit unions provide financial counseling, educational seminars and more opportunities that for-profit institutions often see as a drain on resources better put toward profit making.
Values— Credit union values aren't in profits; they're in people. And that translates to significant contributions within the communities we serve. For example, credit unions lead the nation when it comes to branches operating inside schools— a way for young people to learn to use financial products (such as credit cards) responsibly. As part of their REAL Solutions effort, credit unions are also reaching out to people with low-incomes, new Americans and people who lack a relationship with a financial institution to offer an affordable alternative to predatory financial providers, such as high cost payday lenders.
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