A credit union is a not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. It is owned and controlled by all of the people who use its services. These people (called members) belong to the credit union and the credit union belongs to them. Credit unions exist to provide a safe, convenient place for members to save money and to get loans at reasonable rates. Like all cooperatives, they are based on the concept of “people helping people.” Any income that a credit union collects is distributed as dividends to, or provide competitive rates for, its members.
Credit unions have been providing cooperative financial services to Vermont and New Hampshire for more than 60 years. Although they have grown tremendously in size and sophistication, they maintain the very same characteristics today that have always made them so popular with consumers:
- The credit union mission is service, not profit… credit unions return profits, after expenses and reserves, to their members in the form of dividends and interest on deposits, low loan rates and improved services.
- Members own and democratically control their credit union.
- Credit unions are dependent upon elected and appointed volunteers on the Board and various Committees. Their time and efforts amplify the “people helping people” philosophy of credit unions.
- Credit Unions serve an educational purpose, helping to make their members wiser consumers and improving their financial well-being.