Why Do Credit Unions Talk Funny?

UnisonCircleCredit unions offer many of the same services you find at other financial institutions, but sometimes use different words to describe familiar activities. It’s all part of what makes credit unions significantly different from other financial service providers.

Your credit union savings represent your “share” in the financial cooperative, which is what a credit union is. Thus, you have a share savings account, or, for a fixed-term account, a share certificate account. And if you have an account you use, for example, to pay bills and finance daily purchases, you have a share draft account, so named because you’re able to draw on your shares. In all respects, these accounts work the same way savings, certificate of deposit, and checking accounts work at other institutions.

Dividends are the share of earnings Unison distributes to shareholders – our members.

Fees and borrowing rates are lower, and savings rates higher, because credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives. Profit-driven financial institutions, like banks, must make money to pay stockholders in proportion to their holdings. All credit union members benefit from the credit union’s financial success, but bank income bypasses customers to pay a limited number of stockholders.

Your credit union shares are backed by share insurance up to $250,000. And Unison undergoes rigorous examination by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to assure sound operation and management. Unison Credit Union (began as Thilmany Credit Union) received its operating charter – permission to do business and the rules it must observe – from the state of Wisconsin in 1932.

The board of directors and management comply with the charter and also with the credit union’s own bylaws. These are rules that members and directors adopt to define the credit union’s field of membership (who’s eligible to join), set the par value of shares (in other words, each share is a minimum of $5) and describe common credit union functions.

Thank you for choosing a credit union to fulfill your financial needs and, thank you for choosing Unison!

Copyright 2011-2013 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.
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