FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a Credit Union?
While a credit union offers financial services to its members, it is different from most financial services providers. A credit union is a financial cooperative -- not a business. It is owned and controlled by the people who use its services. These people are called members to reflect their ownership status.
The reason it is called a credit union is because the members come together through a "common bond" based on the community in which they live, the company or profession in which they work, their fraternal organization, or their religious affiliation. This common bond helps to define the credit union's "field of membership" which is determined under its state or federal charter.
Credit unions are not for profit. Their boards of directors are elected by the members and serve as unpaid volunteers. Credit unions exist to provide a safe, convenient place for their members to save and get loans at reasonable rates.
Who Can Join?
We are your Community Credit Union. Anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Niagara County is Eligible! To start enjoying the benefits of membership today, simply stop in at either of our 2 convenient locations and open a Share Savings account with a deposit of as little as $5.00. Once you become a member you may be a member for life, regardless of whether you change jobs, retire, or move.
Why join a credit union?
At a credit union, you're a member, not just a number. You'll find personal service and often higher returns on savings and lower interest rates on loans.
Credit unions score high in consumer satisfaction. For 11 straight years in Gallup surveys, they’ve bested banks, thrifts, and other financial service providers.
Thanks to computers, phones, ATMs, voice response systems, faxes, and shared service centers, you don’t always have to physically go to a credit union office to open an account, deposit, withdraw, transfer funds, or even apply for a loan.
Look into the services offered by each credit union you are eligible to join, and pick the one most convenient for you.
Is my money safe in a credit union?
Like other financial institutions, credit unions are closely regulated. The National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), administered by the federal government, insures member deposits of up to $250,000 just as the FDIC does for bank customers.
What services do credit unions offer?
Savings Accounts: Credit unions help people save to meet their financial goals. Share accounts are basic savings accounts in which money earns a competitive return. Many credit unions offer a variety of savings plans.
Checking Accounts: Credit unions offer a variety of checking accounts, also known as share draft accounts. There are usually no service fees or minimum balances, which means more money in your pocket. Some checking accounts even pay interest, and checks may be free. Add the convenience of ATM/Check cards, direct deposit, and overdraft protection for the ultimate in checking service.
Affordable Loan Rates: Nearly everyone needs a loan at some point, and credit unions have traditionally been the best place to go. Interest rates are generally lower than with other lenders. Because credit unions consider character as well as collateral, it may be easier to get a credit union loan. Because credit unions make loans to members only, capital flows back into their communities.
Automobile Loans: Credit unions make your automobile purchase painless, with competitive interest rates and terms, and, sometimes, the convenience of a pre-approved loan. Some credit unions also offer auto brokerage, buying services, and auto leasing.
Home Mortgage Loans: Some credit unions offer affordable home financing, from adjustable-rate to 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Programs vary with each credit union.
Loans For All Occasions: Other types of loans are available at many credit unions:
- Home Improvement Loans
- Home Equity Loans
- Boat Loans
- Motorcycle Loans
- Personal/Signature Loans
- Student Loans
- Stock/Insurance Loans
- Consolidation Loans
Payroll Deduction: Allows you to deduct any amount from your paycheck for deposit into credit union savings accounts and for credit union loan payments.
Direct Deposit: No standing in line on payday, no lost checks, and no chance of forgetting to deposit checks if you have your paychecks, Social Security checks, and other regular payments sent directly to your credit union accounts. And your money starts earning interest right away.
Many credit unions also offer services such as these:
- Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)
- Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
- Audio Response Systems
- Insurance Coverage Plans
- Electronic Tax Filing
- Personal Financial Planning
- Credit Cards
- Debit Cards
- Stock Brokerage Services
- Travelers Checks
- Mutual Funds
- Money Orders
- Share Certificates (CDs)
- Vacation Clubs
- Overdraft Protection
- Holiday Clubs