What is a Credit Union?
Credit union, bank…what’s the difference? We’re glad you asked…let’s take a look.
On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of differences, right? Credit Unions offer checking, savings and other deposit products, and so do banks. Credit Unions offer car loans, mortgage loans and other types, and yes, so do banks. Here are a few key differences.
Credit Unions are Member-owned. What does this mean?
Credit unions have Members, not customers. Huh? Yes, if you open a “share” account at a credit union, you are considered a “Member.” The first credit union was established in 1905 with the motto, “people helping people” – as opposed to being owned by stockholders, as with banks.
Credit Unions operate as non-profits. Is this a benefit?
Absolutely! Because we are a “not-for-profit” organization, we can pass along higher rates on deposits and lower rates on loans to our Members. And, while banks charge you a-la-carte type fees, we don’t.
Member-Elected Board of Directors. I can vote?
We encourage it! Members elect a group of “volunteer” directors, governed by NCUA By-Laws & Guidelines that provide a form of checks and balances while overseeing the executive management team. No rogue CEO’s on our watch!
We are Members of your Community. We are YOU!
We not only work here, but we live here too. Our kids may go to school together. We may dine in the same restaurants. But, more importantly, we donate to or volunteer at organizations that serve our community. Because our NCUA Charter area extends to most of Central Mass, we have the opportunity to touch many lives in a positive way.
I like what I see, how do I become a Member?
IC’s Field of Membership Charter encompasses 6 major Massachusetts Counties: Franklin, Norfolk, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex and Worcester County. If you live, work or worship in any of these counties, you can become a Member!