All of us desire a little control in our lives. And ownership and control of your money is extremely important. With credit unions, that is exactly what you receive.
At a credit union, you are not a depositor, a debtor or a simple customer. You are a member of the cooperative, and an owner of the financial institution. Certainly, you have available all of the financial services you expect. However, you have more.
You are a voting voice in the decisions of the credit union. You can attend the membership meetings and participate in the decisions. You can speak directly to the CEO and the directors. You elect your board of directors and may even decide to run for a director position yourself, or volunteer on one of its committees.
There is true equality in credit unions. Every member has one vote, regardless of deposit size. And every member benefits from the credit union’s success, through better rates on savings, lower rates on loans, fairer fees and certainly better customer service.
Look at the difference. At other types of financial institutions, the one-member, one-vote philosophy disappears, as stockholders, based on recommendations from other directors, the value of their share holdings, or the selection by the CEO, choose the board of directors. Typically, these directors are paid, and their services are rewarded in shares of stock and other compensation. Moreover, only the shareholders and executives gain from the business success and have a voice in the operation, not the customers. As a result, these institutions focus on maximizing their profits through lower interest on savings, higher rates and fees on loans, and (a big money maker) fees on everything you do.
The Credit Union Difference
A credit union is a cooperative. It survives through the cooperation and volunteerism of its members. This cooperative structure causes the credit union to be exclusively service-oriented. The necessity is to serve you, the “shareholder,” with the finest services available. Thus, when you make a credit union your primary financial institution, you are making your money work for you and your friends and neighbors in the credit union, not some foreigner. The funds in the credit union come from the local community and return to the local community, not some vault at some corporate office in a far-away metropolis or foreign country. And, when you access your credit union, through either the Internet-door or the front door, you know you are entering your financial institution, your home. Ownership and control of your money. It’s kinda fun!