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What is a credit union?

A credit union is a cooperative financial institution, owned and controlled by the people who use its services, members. A credit union serves groups that share something in common, such as where they live, work, or go to church. It is not-for-profit and exists to provide a safe, convenient place for members to save money and to get loans at reasonable rates.

Credit unions, like other financial institutions, are closely regulated and operate in a very prudent manner. The National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, administered by the National Credit Union Administration, an agency of the federal government, insures deposits of credit union members up to $250,000.

What makes a credit union different from a bank or savings & loan?

Like credit unions, these financial institutions accept deposits and make loans. Unlike credit unions, they are in business to make a profit. Banks and savings & loans are owned by groups of stockholders whose interests include earning a healthy return on their investments.

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