//A Look Inside a Credit Union

A credit union is a not-for-profit financial institution owned by its “members.” Why is this a big deal? Compare this with banks where people are just customers. The primary goal of a bank is to make money for shareholders, which explains the high fees and high loan rates. A credit union is different. They are the only democratically controlled financial institutions in the United States.

Here’s what the typical credit union looks like:

  • Members are the owners of the credit union, and vote for the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Committee. Members can run for any of these positions.
  • The Board of Directors is made up of unpaid members who volunteer their time and talent to provide direction, as well as guidance, to the president or CEO.
  • The Supervisory Committee serves as a means of checks and balances. This volunteer committee examines and audits the affairs of the credit union.
  • Credit Union Staff handle the day-to-day operations and are overseen by a credit union president or CEO. Additional staff may include managers, loan officers, marketing professionals, accounting specialists, and member service representatives.

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