Not for profit, not for charity, but for service
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives, owned by the people who save and borrow there. Every member has the right to vote on policies and for members of the credit union board. The majority of credit union boards are made up of volunteer members. Unlike most other financial institutions, credit unions do not issue stock or pay dividends to outside stockholders. Instead, earnings are returned to our members in the form of lower loan rates, higher interest on deposits, and lower fees.
By current federal statute, credit unions cannot serve the general public. People qualify for a credit union membership through their employer, organizational affiliations like churches or social groups, or a community-chartered credit union.
Our critics often claim that credit unions "don't pay taxes." Credit unions do pay taxes — payroll taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes. Congress exempts credit unions from federal income taxes. The exemption was established in 1937, affirmed by statute in 1951, and re-affirmed in 1998 in H.R. 1151, the Credit Union Membership Access Act, which states:
"Credit unions, unlike many other participants in the financial services market, are exempt from Federal and most State taxes because credit unions are member-owned, democratically operated, not-for-profit organizations generally managed by volunteer boards of directors and because they have the specified mission of meeting the credit and savings needs of consumers, especially persons of modest means."
Our Commitment to Serving Our Members — We Make the Difference
Credit unions exist to help people, not make a profit. Our goal is to serve all of our members well, including those of modest means. In addition, we also reach out to members or potential members who are un-served or underserved.
Our Commitment to Financial Education & Literacy
Promoting financial literacy has been a primary mission of credit unions since they were established. Edward A. Filene, the father of the American credit union movement in 1908 said, "Credit unions are educational institutions." Our intent is to teach people wise money management skills they can use to make their entire lives better. We offer newsletters that include information on financial topics plus we offer individuals budget and financial counseling as a routine matter.
Our Commitment to Good Governance and Diversity
Credit unions exist to serve all members equally, with dignity, respect and consideration. We strive to serve to serve everyone who needs financial services within our membership and to be sensitive to the individual needs of the various cultures we serve. Employees and volunteers reflect the diversity of our members.
Our Commitment to Community & the Credit Union Movement
Credit unions don't just exist to provide financial services—we provide financial services for the purpose of improving lives. While our first responsibility is to our members, part of being a cooperative movement means looking beyond our walls to the larger community. This philosophy leads us to support worthwhile charitable and social causes, and to work with other credit unions.