When you jump online to make sure your car payment was released as scheduled, or drop by a branch to use the ATM, consider the reasons WHY you trust Achieva with your financial transactions. Why did you choose a Credit Union instead of a traditional banking institution?
“It’s close to my house”
“My mother banks there”
“They had the best loan rates”
All of those are good reasons, but Credit Unions represent so much more than convenience and great rates. Credit Unions are not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperatives that are governed by 9 specific principles that make an authentic difference in the lives of their members.
1) Democratic Control. One member = one vote. We all have a voice.
2) Open Membership. If you live or work in our community, you are welcome here.
3) Non-Discrimination. Everyone is appreciated. Together is better.
4) Service to Members. Exceptional service, every day, every transaction.
5) Distribution to Members. Banks have shareholders. Credit unions have members.
Members are #1!
6) Building Financial Stability. Credit unions are both reliable and stable.
7) Co-op Cooperation. Shared branching means you can expect the same quality of service from member Credit Unions that you receive at home.
8) Social Responsibility. We are invested in the community. Creating safe and happy neighborhoods benefits us all.
9) On-going Education. We want you to be smart with your money. We share our knowledge to help create savvy, financially responsible members. You win!
So that’s awesome, Credit Unions have principles. But what does that really mean for members? It means that Credit Union members are OWNERS. Credit Unions pool members’ savings deposits and shares to finance their own loan portfolios instead of relying on outside capital. That means that members benefit with higher rates on savings, lower rates on loans and lesser fees overall.
See, banks are FOR PROFIT businesses that answer to stockholders, who demand a significant return on their investment. Usually they are governed by a well-paid board of directors. The directors may or may not be part of the community, and they are not even required to use the bank’s services! While each director has one vote, the votes are weighted based upon how much stock the director owns. When earnings are favorable, stockholders receive a pro-rata share of the profits.
Credit Unions, on the other hand, elect a voluntary board of directors from their membership, and each director has one equal vote, regardless of their amount of savings or shares in the Credit Union. Instead of paying stockholders, profits are returned to the pool, in the form of lower interest rates on loans, higher interest rates on savings, and development of new products and services. These practices may not seem remarkable, but in some countries, membership in a Credit Union represents the first taste of the democratic process; the first time members have a stake in their own financial futures. On top of all that, credit unions tend to be more stable than other financial institutions. A study performed by CUNA (Credit Union National Association) demonstrated that during the four-year period from 2008-2012, the number of banks that failed was roughly FOUR TIMES as many as Credit Unions! When Credit Union members pool resources and make decisions together, everyone wins.
As you know, Achieva is deeply rooted in the community. This weekend is our 7th annual Achieva Box Car Rally. We are thrilled to put this exciting community event on once again and help raise money for local schools. The Box Car Rally is free to attend, so bring the whole family out for a GOOD time. There will be races, food trucks, carnival games, vendors and much more. Learn more here!
Primary Source: World Council of Credit Unions