Common questions and answers about credit unions. Click on the question to view the answer.
Credit unions and banks typically offer similar products and services, but credit unions have some unique characteristics, including:
Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives
Credit unions may return earnings to members, which could be in the form of lower loan rates, higher savings rates, and free or low-cost services
Each person who deposits money into the credit union is a member with a share of ownership
Credit unions are only allowed to serve a select group of individuals that have a common bond such as where they work, live, or even their religion
Most people can find a credit union they are eligible to join. Credit union members generally share the occupation (employer or industry), residence (live or work in the same city, county or metropolitan area), association (same church, professional, civic or fraternal group, etc.) and family (membership is extended to you if any of your immediate family is a member). Federal and state credit union laws restrict credit unions to serving only the groups specified in their charters. The group or groups served by a credit union are referred to as its “field of membership.”
To find a credit union you are eligible to join, visit the Minnesota Credit Unions website.
Just as banks have FDIC insurance, money at the credit union is also backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government. The National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) insures a member’s shares on deposit at a credit union up to a minimum of $250,000. In other words, the NCUSIF is the FDIC equivalent for credit unions.