Money Possible: Destroy Debt is a consumer financial literacy campaign supported by Kansas credit unions and the Kansas Credit Union Association. Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that help Kansas consumers achieve financial success. More than 640,000 Kansas consumers are members of a credit union.
Credit unions put people before profit and exist solely to serve their members. Credit unions are financial institutions that offer checking and savings accounts, mortgage, car and student loans, credit cards and other financial services.
Credit unions are an alternative to big banks and make collaborative banking successful for more than half a million Kansans, and more than 96 million consumers worldwide.
Kansas Credit Union Association FAQ
Q: What makes a credit union different from a bank?
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions that exist solely to serve their members and help them achieve financial success. A credit union is a cooperative financial institution, owned and controlled by its members.
Like banks, credit unions accept deposits and make loans
—but unlike banks, credit unions are not in business to
make a profit. Any profit a credit union makes are returned
to its members through lower loan rates, low or no fees and
higher deposit rates.
Over a lifetime, a Kansas consumer can save $30,000
simply by using a credit union, as compared to other
Credit unions are the only democratically controlled financial
institutions in the U.S. Members elect a volunteer board of
qualified individuals to oversee the credit union and the
president reports to this board.
Q: Why should I join a credit union?
People Before Profit: Credit unions are focused on people, not profits. Credit unions operate by a “people helping people” philosophy that is hard to find at other financial institutions. Credit unions offer a “cooperative” model, a completely different business model to provide financial services to consumers.
Focus on Financial Literacy: Kansas credit unions recognize
the importance of financial literacy. A credit union’s main
priority is to serve members and help them achieve financial
success. Credit unions know that financial health starts
early and have programs targeted at all age levels. Kansas
credit unions operate in-school branches, offer financial
literacy programs like Save@School and Money$mart
Financial Literacy camps and support the National
Endowment for Financial Education’s High School Financial Planning Program.
Serving Kansas Communities: Credit unions are vital to each
and every community and are dedicated to making their
communities a great place to live. They support other
businesses and organizations, provide a financial service to
their neighbors and give back to other not-for-profits
through fundraisers, charitable giving and community
events. Nationwide and in Kansas, credit unions’ charity of
choice is Children’s Miracle Network.
Q: How do I join a credit union?
To join a credit union you can live or work in a certain community, or belong to one of its select employee groups. These tips will help you find a credit union you can join:
- Visit www.asmarterchoice.org to search for a credit union near you.
- Check with your employer. Often, you’ll find your company has access to a credit union.
- Ask your family. Perhaps your spouse’s or another family member’s employer has access to a credit union. Most credit unions allow family members to join.
- Ask your neighbors. Community fields of membership serve a region defined by geography rather than by employment or family association.
Q: How do I know my money is safe?
Credit union members’ deposits are insured up to $250,000 through the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a government agency much like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) used by banks.