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What Is A Credit Union?

two people giving thumbs up
two people giving thumbs up

Almost everyone knows what a bank is, but most people are less familiar with a credit union. Sometimes Members of a credit union don’t even know how it differs from a bank. The only way to know which one is right for you (a bank or a credit union) though, is to understand the difference between the two.

Some credit union facts you may not be aware of are:

  • Everyone who banks at a credit union is called a Member. At Centra, you can become a Member if you have a family member who is already a Centra Member, or live or work in one of these counties.
  • Credit Unions are not-for-profit organizations, while banks are for-profit organizations. Because credit unions are not-for-profits, every extra penny made goes back to the Members in the form of lower loan rates, better savings rates, fewer and lower fees and convenient technology.
  • As not-for-profits, credit unions are led by a board, which is voted on by the Members.
  • The focus of credit unions is serving Members. Every internal decision is made to benefit Members, not shareholders.
  • All credit unions are cooperative, which often means they’re part of a Shared Branching and/or ATM network. The Shared Branches/ATMs mean you can access thousands of credit union ATMs and locations totally free.
  • Credit unions typically support community causes. Centra has its own foundation, The Centra Foundation, which supports causes in the communities we serve.

Have more questions about how a credit union differs from a bank, or how you can become a Centra Member? Give us a call at 800-232-3642 or stop in to your local Centra location. We are happy to help!

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