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  • Learn About Credit Unions
    • Historical Timeline of Credit Unions

      As not-for-profit depository institutions, credit unions were created to serve members as credit cooperatives.

    • How is a Credit Union Different than a Bank?

      In the United States, credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members rather than to maximize corporate profits.

    • How to Find a Credit Union in Your Area

      Once you select a specific credit union, you can view more details about that credit union, including contact information, branch locations, services offered, and recent financial statements.

    • How to Join a Credit Union

      Anybody can join a credit union. Each credit union serves what’s called their “field of membership” – that’s the commonality between the members.

    • How to Start a Credit Union

      If your group is eligible, NCUA's staff will assist you with preparing an application for a charter and see that your group receives guidance in getting your federal credit union started.

    • Is a Credit Union Right for Me?

      Because credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions, their focus is serving the financial needs of their members and not making a profit.

    • Credit Union and Bank Interest Rate Comparison

      In general, credit unions offer higher savings rates, meaning that your money grows faster, and lower rates on loans, meaning that you will owe less over the lifetime of the loan.

    • Learn More About Your Credit Union

      NCUA makes financial information about credit unions available to the public through Financial Performance Reports (FPRs).

    • Low Income Credit Unions

      Credit unions provide valuable access to financial services for people underserved and unserved by traditional financial institutions.

    • Understanding Differences in Federal vs. Privately Insured Credit Unions

      Federally-chartered credit unions are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration and insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

    • What is a Credit Union?

      A federal credit union is a cooperative financial institution chartered by the federal government and owned by individual members.

  • Protect Your Finances
    • Consumer Protection Update

      Watch the latest NCUA Consumer Protection Update video to learn about important updates and changes that may affect you as a consumer."

    • Credit Reports and Credit Scores

      It’s a good idea to monitor your credit report on a regular basis to make sure that the information is accurate. You can also verify that no one has stolen your identity to make fraudulent charges.

    • Share Insurance Coverage

      Federally insured credit unions offer a safe place for you to save your money, with deposits insured up to $250,000, per individual depositor.

    • Online Financial Safety Tips

      When performing transactions on your credit union's website, it's wise to make sure that the website is legitimate and that your deposits are federally insured.

    • Prevent Identity Theft

      If you believe that someone has stolen your identity, you should contact any credit union, bank or creditor where you have an account that you think may be the subject of identity theft.

    • Frauds and Scams

      NCUA reports on frauds and scams aimed at credit union members. In this section, we provide an overview of recent activity.

    • Scams Targeting Seniors

      America's growing senior population is vulnerable to a broad range of financial crimes. In this section, NCUA provides tips on how seniors can protect themselves from fraud.

    • Tips for Young Adults

      Credit unions offer young adults desirable, affordable financial services, as well as the advantage of personal service developed to help them grow their savings. Many credit unions offer services within schools or have student-run branches.

    • Pocket Cents

      Learn about the history of money, different currencies used around the world, the power of dividends and how to be smart about preparing for your financial future with Pocket Cents from NCUA.

    • Understand Your Privacy Rights

      Federal privacy laws give you the right to stop (opt out of) some sharing of your personal financial information. The law permits your financial companies to share certain information about you without giving you the right to opt out.

  • Financial Tools and Resources
    • Brochures and Graphics

      These brochures and graphics may be linked, downloaded, or printed.

    • Calendar of Events

      View a listing of upcoming events, designations, and opportunities for each month.

    • College Scorecard

      Plan your entire financial aid packages online for all of the schools that you are considering.

    • Consumer Loan Calculator

      Explore your consumer loan, including the effect of adjusting number of payments, principal and interest rate on your monthly payment.

    • Consumer Resources

      Use these references and tools to make better informed financial decisions.

    • FAQs

      Locate answers in the Knowledge Base to a wide variety of frequently asked questions.

    • Games and Activities

      Test your financial knowledge with these games and activities for all ages.

    • Glossary

      Become an educated consumer by taking the mystery out of commonly used financial terms.

    • Lesson Plans and Resources

      Educators and parents can use these plans and resources to teach youth, tweens, and teens about saving, spending, budgeting, and the value of money.

    • Mortgage Loan Calculators

      Compare monthly payments and the amount of equity you would build with several kinds of fixed and adjustable rate mortgages.

    • Personal Budgeting Worksheet

      Take a close look at your income and expenses with this helpful worksheet that can identify where you might have room to save.

    • Savings & Retirement Calculator

      Get estimates based on your actual Social Security earnings record with this calculator.

    • Share Insurance Estimator

      Are your deposits insured? Find out with NCUA’s electronic Share Insurance Estimator.

    • Videos

      View NCUA's Consumer Report and Consumer Protection Update videos on current financial hot topics.

  • Credit Unions and You
    • Dealing with Debt

      Bill payer services, or debt consolidation services, can help consumers preserve their credit scores by merging debts and establishing a workable schedule to pay down money owed to creditors through a single monthly payment.

    • Buying A Car

      It's important to know how to make a smart deal. Your credit union can discuss car loan options with you.

    • Paying off Credit Cards

      Read your statement carefully for information about how long it would take to pay off your account balance if you only pay the minimum payment. It can take years, even decades, to pay it off.

    • Home Ownership and Mortgage Options

      Once you are ready to buy a home, consult your credit union about competitive interest rates and to find out about your mortgage options, including the term of the loan and the conditions.

    • Mortgage Modifications

      NCUA encourages credit unions to work constructively with residential mortgage borrowers who may be unable to meet their contractual payment obligations.

    • Preparing for Retirement

      Between longer life expectancies and fewer employers offering traditional pension plans, it’s a good idea to take an active role in planning for retirement.

    • Saving for College

      Whether you are saving for your own education or for your children’s, it’s wise to start planning for college as soon as possible.

    • Short Term Loans

      Payday loans (a.k.a. deferred advance loans, cash advance loans, check advance loans, post-dated check loans, or deferred deposit check loans) are loans borrowers promise to repay from their next paycheck or salary deposit.

Pocket Cents
  • Youth

    Have you ever thought about why money is worth anything? It's just paper and ink, or a small piece of stamped metal. To do a lot of things we need to use money. Money can give you choices and independence. Have you ever thought about how you could earn your own money? Or, how much money you should you save? The way you manage your money could determine if are able to buy food, a movie ticket, a pair of jeans, just about everything. Learn about the history of money, why we use it, how to save it, and how to protect it.

  • Teens and Tweens

    You may be thinking about your first checking or savings account, your first job, or even your first car. Soon, you will have the opportunity to pursue your dreams. You could go to college, launch your career, or start a business. No matter what you decide, you will need money to make it happen. It's never too early to learn smart financial habits. Whether saving a portion of a weekly allowance or understanding the deductions on the pay stub from a first job, good money management skills can last a lifetime. In this section, you will not only learn how to prepare financially for life after high school, but also how to avoid scams and common money mistakes.

  • Young Adults

    Are you prepared to make wise and informed financial decisions? Do you know how to recognize predatory credit offers? Can you balance a checkbook? Do you have a savings plan? Smart financial choices you make today could help you can achieve that new car purchase, or sail through an apartment lease or mortgage application. However, money mistakes when you're just starting out can leave you in debt and ruin your credit score. Learn how to live within a budget, handle credit and debt, and build a solid financial foundation for your future.

  • Parents And Educators

    How do you teach kids about money? It may be as simple as talking about your job, taking a trip to the grocery store, or opening a savings account at a credit union to deposit allowance and birthday money. The bottom line is that it’s never too early to start teaching children smart financial habits and the value of money. Educating, motivating, and empowering kids to become regular savers will enable them to keep more of the money they earn. Whether at home or in the classroom, this section will provide you with the tools and resources to teach kids how to grow into financially responsible adults. The reward could mean a life free from the anxieties of debt.

  • Seniors

    Did you know that seniors account for almost 30% of all fraud victims? Whether you are looking for information for yourself or for a loved one, in this section you will learn how to defend against these scams, as well as, find information on reverse mortgages, prepaid funerals, emergency savings, and long-term care. Additionally, you will find articles that will help with money management, post-retirement planning, and maximizing government benefits.

  • Marriage and Family

    You may have a retirement account. But, do you really know how much you should be saving? Do you budget to save, and not just when you have extra money left over in your paycheck? Have you thought about saving for college? Does your family have an emergency fund? Anyone can learn how to save money and invest in their future. In this section, you will learn how to take control of your financial future, including how to defend against fraud and scams, tips on buying a car or home, how to handle credit and debt, and information about credit reports.

  • Servicemembers

    Are you financially ready? Servicemembers and military families face unique financial challenges, whether on active duty, returning to civilian life, or living as a veteran. In recent years, servicemembers have joined the ranks of those who are considered most vulnerable to predatory lenders and identity theft. Most military families today are not saving adequately for retirement, and many do not have an emergency fund. In this section, you will learn how to protect yourself from financial vulnerabilities, as well as, how to budget, save, and handle debt and credit. Additionally, learn about free financial resources, benefits, and special protections offered by the U.S. government for servicemembers and their families.

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Facts About United States Coins & Currency

Facts About the $1 Note

  • The first $1 notes (called United States Notes or "Legal Tenders") were issued by the Federal government in 1862 and featured a portrait of Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase (1861-1864).
  • The first use of George Washington's portrait on the $1 note was on Series 1869 United States Notes.
  • The first $1 Federal Reserve Notes were issued in 1963. The design, featuring George Washington on the face and the Great Seal on the back, has not changed.
  • Of all the notes printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the $1 note makes up about 45% of currency production.
  • If you had 10 billion $1 notes and spent one every second of every day, it would require 317 years for you to go broke.
  • Faceplate Numbers and Letters are the small numbers and letters that can be found in the lower right and upper left corners of a bill. In the left corner is the Note Position Number. This consists of the Note Position Letter and a quadrant number. The combination indicates the position of the note on the plate from which it was printed. In the lower right corner, the Note Position Letter is followed by the Plate Serial Number. This identifies the plate from which the note was printed. The Plate Serial Number for the reverse (back) side of the note is in the lower-right corner, just inside the ornamental border on the reverse of the bill.

Image: www.moneyfactory.gov/images/1noteid.pdf

Facts About the $2 Note

  • The first $2 notes (called United States Notes or "Legal Tenders") were issued by the Federal government in 1862 and featured a portrait of the first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton (1789-1795).
  • The first use of Thomas Jefferson's portrait on $2 notes was on Series 1869 United States Notes. The same portrait has been used for all series of $2 United States Notes as well as for all $2 Federal Reserve Notes.
  • Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's estate in Virginia, was first featured as the vignette on the back of the Series 1928 $2 United States Note.
  • In celebration of the United States' bicentennial, a $2 Federal Reserve Note, Series 1976, was introduced. The new design maintained the portrait of Jefferson on the face but the back was changed from Monticello to a vignette of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The most recent printing of the $2 note has the Series 2003 date. There are no plans to redesign the $2 note.
  • The vignette on the back of the current $2 Federal Reserve Note features an engraving of John Trumbull's painting "The Signing of the Declaration of Independence." The original Trumbull painting portrayed 47 people, 42 of whom were signers of the Declaration (there were 56 total). However, because of a limited amount of space on the note, 5 of 47 men in the painting were not included in the engraving.

Facts About the $5 Note

  • The vignette on the reverse of the $5 bill depicts the Lincoln Memorial. There are engraved on that building the names of the 48 States in the Union in 1922, the year the Memorial was dedicated. Consequently, the note vignette shows the names of those states that are engraved on the front of the building.

    They are as follows: Upper frieze - Arkansas, Michigan, Florida, Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin, California, Minnesota, Oregon, Kansas, West Virginia, Nevada, Nebraska, Colorado, and North Dakota. Lower frieze - Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Carolina, Hampshire, Virginia, and New York. (The States of South Carolina and New Hampshire are shown without their prefixes.)

Facts About the $10 Note

  • Contrary to popular belief, the automobile pictured on the back of the $10 note is not a Model "T" Ford. It is merely a creation of the designer of the bill.

Facts About the $20 Note

  • The Series 2004 and 2006 $20 note first entered circulation on October 9, 2003.
  • The 1996-2001 series $20 bill was first issued in September 1998.

Facts About the $50 Note

  • The Series 2004 and 2006 $50 note first entered circulation on September 28, 2004.
  • The Series 1996-2001 $50 notes first entered circulation in October 1997.

Facts About the $100 Note

  • The new $100 note design debuted on April 21, 2009 during a ceremony at the Department of the Treasury's Cash Room.
  • The Series 1996-2003A $100 note was first issued in March of 1996.
  • The $100 note has been the largest denomination of currency in circulation since 1969.
  • The first $100 notes (called United States Notes or "Legal Tenders") were issued by the Federal government in 1862 and featured a vignette of an American eagle.
  • The first use of Benjamin Franklin's portrait on $100 notes was on the first series of Federal Reserve Notes, Series 1914.
  • Beginning with Series 1996, $100 notes feature large portraits, watermarks in the paper, and color-shifting ink. The notes also include microprinting (small lettering that is hard to replicate) on the face of the note, "USA 100" is within the number in the lower left corner, and United States of America appears as a line in the left lapel of Benjamin Franklin's coat.
  • Since Series 1928, the $100 note has featured an engraving of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The former State House of Pennsylvania, Independence Hall is often called the birthplace of our Nation. Within its walls, the Declaration of Independence was signed and the Constitution of the United States was drafted.
  • There is no record that the man and woman standing in front of the hall close to the building are embracing. The hands of the clock on the hall are set at approximately 4:10. There are no records explaining why that particular time was chosen.

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