10 Facts about Credit Unions

October 19 is International Credit Union day and being a member of a credit union is a win for your finances for many reasons. Here are 10 facts to help you learn a little more about credit unions and what makes them a great option for your money.

Fact #1: President Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act in 1934 to promote thriftiness and prevent unusually high interest rates during the Great Depression.

Fact #2: Credit unions are insured. Most credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which provides essentially the same coverage on funds as does the FDIC. If the word “federal” is in the name, they are insured. If not, check with your credit union. It may be state-chartered or have private deposit insurance, or both. Insight Credit Union is federally insured by the NCUA .

Fact #3: Eligibility is fairly flexible at most credit unions. Most require residency in a certain community, city or state, or that you are employed by the credit union’s sponsor company. But requirements are pretty broad on most, making eligibility at a credit union a possibility for almost anyone.

Fact #4: Credit unions are not-for-profit institutions and are owned by the people they serve, not by a few shareholders.

Fact #5: Credit unions can offer better rates on savings accounts, lower interest rates on loans, and little or no fees on accounts because they are exempt from federal taxes. Credit unions still pay state taxes.

Fact #6: The credit union’s board of directors, which is elected by members, can set loan limits in an effort to help the credit union grow.

Fact #7: Credit union members have democratic control of the credit union and can attend and participate in regular and special membership meetings.

Fact #8: Non-members benefit from credit unions too. Competition for low rates keeps banks’ fees in check, thereby benefiting nonmembers.

Fact #9: With more than 5,000 credit unions across the globe and access to tens of thousands of ATMs, credit unions are increasingly convenient on a national scale.

Fact #10: Once you are a member of a credit union, you stay a member for as long as you maintain your deposit account (share), regardless of whether or not you continue to meet the original eligibility requirements.

Learn more about how you can become a member of Insight Credit union by visiting our website today.

 

International Credit Union Day

Hi-Res-Logo[1].jpgInternational Credit Union Day is coming up on Thursday, October 20! This week we will be celebrating the credit union authentic difference by sharing information on our Facebook page about how credit unions help the communities in which we live and work. Here are a few interesting facts to get us started!

What is International Credit Union Day?

  • A day when credit unions all over the world celebrate the qualities that make them unique and show appreciation for their members.
  • The celebration started in 1948 and occurs every year on the third Thursday of October.
  • There are 57,000 credit unions worldwide in 105 countries.

What makes a credit union different?  

  • Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives.
  • We offer the same services as other financial institutions, but we return all of 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.

We hope you will join us on social media this week to celebrate International Credit Union Day!

It’s International Credit Union Day!

ICU_Day_2015_logo_JPGToday, credit unions around the world are celebrating International Credit Union Day (ICU Day). Since 1948, on the third Thursday of every October, credit unions have celebrated a simple but radical idea—by working together, people can improve their financial well-being. This idea has spread across the world enabling credit unions to flourish, especially during times of economic hardship.

During the Great Depression, scores of ordinary Americans—farmers, teachers, small business owners—found themselves without access to banking services. They band together to become their own not-for-profit financial institution and credit unions began to open in record numbers. During the recent Great Recession, credit union memberships proliferated once again. Today there are more than 200 million credit union members worldwide—100 million of them in the U.S.

This year’s ICU Day theme, “people helping people,” is the foundational philosophy of the credit union movement. At its most basic level, a credit union is people pooling their money to provide each other with affordable loans—a credit union is literally people helping people. This is why Insight celebrates ICU Day. This simple idea empowers people, wherever they are in the world or in life, to take control of their own financial future.

So when we wish you a Happy ICU Day, know that we’re thanking you for belonging to a movement that’s helping your neighbors—and people around the world—grow and thrive and follow their dreams.

7 Ways a Credit Union Is Different from a Bank

credit-union-vs-bank1There are many differences between credit unions and banks, and sometimes it can be quite confusing. In fact, many people don’t realize the important differences between the two, which can directly impact their financial health. For instance, an individual who opens an account at a bank becomes a customer of that bank, while an individual who opens an account at a credit union becomes a member of that credit union. In general, credit unions promote the financial well-being of their members and are not-for-profit, while banks promote the organization’s bottom line and are for profit. Here are a few other differences you may not know about:

  1. Ownership
    • CU: Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that are owned directly by the members of the credit union.
    • B: Banks are owned by investors/stockholders.
  1. Focus
    • CU: Credit unions are focused on helping their members.
    • B: Banks are focused on generating a profit.
  1. Profit
    • CU: At a credit union, members reap the profit in the form of higher dividends on deposits, lower interest rates on loans, and fewer fees.
    • B: At banks, any profit made by the bank goes to the owners or investors/stockholders.
  1. Decision Making
    • CU: Credit unions elect their board of directors who represent the members of the credit union. Credit union boards are volunteer boards.
    • B: Banks employ a board of trustees who is responsible for making decisions on behalf of the bank. The customers have no official say in decisions regarding the bank.
  1. Fees/Rates
    • CU: Credit unions charge lower fees and interest rates on loans than traditional financial institutions. Some credit unions even offer accounts with no fees. In addition, many credit unions offer low or no minimum balance requirements on checking and savings account with higher earnings on deposits
    • B: Banks charge multiple monthly fees that can add up to hundreds of dollars annually. These fees include ATM fees and monthly fees on interest bearing accounts.
  1. Insured Savings
    • CU: Credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
    • B: Banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
  1. Taxes
    • CU: In 1937, Congress voted to make credit unions exempt from paying federal income tax because they are not-for-profit organizations. Credit unions pay payroll, property and sales taxes.
    • B: Banks pay federal income taxes.

We hope this helps everyone understand the important differences between credit unions and banks!