MSU Federal Credit Union FAQ
Q: What is a credit union?
Credit unions are non-profit, cooperative financial institutions which were created in 1933 as an alternative financial option to traditional banks. They were developed on the principle of “people helping people”, with credit unions being owned by their members instead of by shareholders. When you are a member of a credit union, you are a part owner of your financial institution, and benefits are typically returned to you and other credit union members in the form of better rates and superior service. Credit unions generally offer the same products and services as traditional banks.
Q: Is my money insured at a credit union?
Deposits at the majority of credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). The NCUA provides insurance for credit unions in a similar manner that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) provides insurance for bank deposits. The NCUA’s coverage federally insures savings for $250,000 and is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. Accounts maintained in different rights, capacities or forms of ownership may each be separately insured by the NCUA up to $250,000. Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs and SEP Plan IRAs are insured for an additional $250,000.
Q: What is the purpose of a credit union?
The credit union motto is “not for profit, not for charity, but for service”. As such, credit unions are designed to help members reach their financial goals in a variety of ways while providing trustworthy, helpful service. In general, credit unions can charge lower rates for loans (as well as pay higher dividends on savings) because they are non-profit cooperatives. Rather than paying profits to stockholders, credit unions return earnings to members in the form of dividends or improved services.
Q: Who can join a credit union?
Some people mistakenly believe it’s difficult to join a credit union, but most anyone can qualify for membership at a variety of credit unions. Each credit union serves a field of membership which is made up of people who all share a common bond such as a shared employer/workplace, geographic area, school, place of worship, or membership in an organization. Visit www.findacreditunion.com to find a credit union near you, or ask your local credit union about their membership requirements.
Q: What services to credit unions offer?
Most credit unions offer a full range of financial products and services such as savings, checking, credit cards, mortgages, vehicle loans, online banking, and more, just like a traditional bank. Contact your local credit union to find out the products and services they offer to meet your financial needs.