University of Missouri Extension

Credit Unions

What is a credit union? A credit union is a group of people who join together to save money and make loans to each other at favorable rates. As a credit union member you can generally expect to earn more when you save and pay less when you borrow. Credit union members usually have something in common, such as their place of work, hometown, professional organization or labor union.

Unlike other financial institutions, credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives. As a member, you are an owner. Eligible members vote for the board of directors. Directors and committee members serve as unpaid volunteers.

For the 12th straight year, credit unions ranked highest in consumer satisfaction among financial institutions. A survey conducted by American Banker reports that 77% of credit union members are "very satisfied" with the quality of service they receive. That compares with 59% among bank and thrift customers.

"Credit Union Satisfaction," ACCI Consumer News and Reviews, Jan-Feb 1996, p. 8; "A Teen's Guide to Money," from the CUNA Mutual Group, 1994.

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Last updated: March 09, 2005
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