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As not-for-profit depository institutions, credit unions were created to serve members as credit cooperatives.
In the United States, credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members rather than to maximize corporate profits.
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.
Anybody can join a credit union. Each credit union serves what’s called their “field of membership” – that’s the commonality between the members.
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.
Because credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions, their focus is serving the financial needs of their members and not making a profit.
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.
NCUA makes financial information about credit unions available to the public through Financial Performance Reports (FPRs).
Credit unions provide valuable access to financial services for people underserved and unserved by traditional financial institutions.
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.
A federal credit union is a cooperative financial institution chartered by the federal government and owned by individual members.
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.
Federally insured credit unions offer a safe place for you to save your money, with deposits insured up to $250,000, per individual depositor.
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.
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.
NCUA reports on frauds and scams aimed at credit union members. In this section, we provide an overview of recent activity.
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.
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.
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.
Grants, scholarships and loans will likely be part of how you will pay for college. With tens of billions of dollars of financial aid available every year, some of that aid could be yours. It’s important to know what’s available to you.
You can adjust variables, including number of payments, principal, and interest rate, to determine your monthly payment.
The following links to government websites may be helpful as you investigate the financial tools available to you.
Compare the monthly payments and the amount of equity you will build in your home for several kinds of fixed and adjustable rate mortgages.
This worksheet will help you understand where you can be flexible each month.
The Social Security Administration’s Retirement Estimator calculator will provide estimates based on your actual Social Security earnings record.
The Electronic Share Insurance Estimator helps credit union members calculate their coverage under National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.
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.
It's important to know how to make a smart deal. Your credit union can discuss car loan options with you.
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.
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.
NCUA encourages credit unions to work constructively with residential mortgage borrowers who may be unable to meet their contractual payment obligations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Visit MyMoney.gov for more financial tools and calculators
Consumer Resources Use these references and tools to make better informed financial decisions.
College Savings Calculator 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.
Mortgage Loan Calculators Compare monthly payments and the amount of equity you would build with several kinds of fixed and adjustable rate mortgages.
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.
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.