When you belong to a credit union you’re a member of a not-for-profit financial institution. That means any profits made are reinvested in the form of better rates and lower fees for the members, unlike banks who pay their stockholders.
Each member owns a part of the credit union by investing their “share” (at Scient this is the initial $5 deposit into your share savings account) and receives one vote at the credit union’s annual meeting. The credit union’s Board of Directors is decided upon by those votes and each member of the Board serves for a term and may be re-elected. Any member in good standing may run for an open position on the Board of Directors.
Credit unions offer the same products and services offered by for-profit banks including checking, savings, loans and online banking. Credit unions even have a nationwide ATM network allowing fee-free access to your money.