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What is a Credit Union?

So what is a credit union anyway, and why should you consider joining? Credit unions fill a special role and offer unique member benefits.

Find out what a credit union is and what benefits are available to members. Plus, learn how you can join.

A credit union is a cooperative financial institution, owned and controlled by the people who use its services, called members. Credit unions serve groups that share something in common, such as where they work, live, or go to church. Credit unions are not-for-profit, and exist to provide a safe, convenient place for members to save money and to get loans at reasonable rates.

What makes a credit union different from a bank or savings and loan? Like credit unions, these financial institutions accept deposits and make loans - but unlike credit unions, they are in business to make a profit. Banks and savings & loans are owned by groups of stockholders whose interests include earning a healthy return on their investments.

Federal credit unions are chartered, regulated and insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a U.S. government agency created for just this purpose. In federal credit unions, member accounts are insured up to at least $250,000 per member account, and up to $250,000 for IRA accounts. So you can feel confident knowing your money is safe at a federal credit union like SEFCU.

Want to learn how you can join SEFCU and become a credit union member?

Open a SEFCU account today

  • Apply online 24/7
  • Visit a branch near you
  • Call the Member Solutions Center at 518-452-8183 or 800-727-3328