Top 11 Questions About Credit Unions
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Credit Unions are a bit of a different beast than the average bank. They’re very localized, focused on a core group of people who share a common interest. Before trusting any organization with your finances, do your research. Here are a few common questions about credit unions and how Signet measures up:
- How are credit unions and banks different?
Credit unions are nonprofit organizations while a bank is a for-profit institution. While banks work mainly for their stockholders, a credit union works for each of their members. At each institution you can apply for a loan, a checking account, savings account and other financial services.
Many banks have high or confusing fees associated with their products and services. One of the benefits of a credit union is that they offer services for free or for a small fee.
- How do credit unions work?
First, each member has a voice in their credit union. If they’re eligible for membership at a particular credit union, they’ll fill out an application to become a member. Then, they’ll have the ability to vote on different things happening within the credit union.
Instead of working to increase their stockholders’ dividends, they work for their members – YOU. Credit unions are nonprofit organizations and any profits made by the credit union are returned to the members in the form of reduced fees, higher savings rates and lower loan rates.
For a deeper understanding of how a credit union works, call us or visit mycreditunion.gov.
- Are credit unions safe?
As far as the safety of your deposits, credit unions are just as safe as bank accounts – as long as they are federally insured credit unions. The NCUA reports that, “Not one penny of insured savings has ever been lost by a member of a federally insured credit union.”
- Are credit unions FDIC insured?
Banks are insured by the FDIC, but credit unions are insured by the NCUA or the National Credit Union Administration. This is a government agency that insures your accounts with a certified credit union at least up to $250,000. Signet Federal Credit Union is NCUA insured.
- What credit unions can I join?
Credit union membership eligibility is different for every credit union. Some are based on who you work for, while others are based on where you live. For Signet, anyone can apply for membership who lives, works, worships, attends school or volunteers in Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Crittenden, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, Lyon, Marshall or McCracken County.
- Can credit unions help build credit?
Most definitely! If you are just getting started building your credit we can help educate you on how to build and maintain good credit. We give free counsel so stop by and talk with one of our loan officers, before you buy your first car!
- Why are credit unions popular?
Who doesn’t want to feel more in control of their finances? Every member is also part owner of their credit union. They generally offer lower loan rates, fewer fees and a more personalized service than your average bank. Hear from some of our members on why they chose to be a Signet member:
“I’ve been a member of this credit union since the early 60’s. I would not borrow money anywhere else. No way. It’s my hometown credit union and credit unions are the best.” – Will
“Quit banks because of signature loans. Have had 15 loans with Signet and with online banking payment is easy.” –Roy
- Do credit unions have fees?
There are no fees to have a savings or checking account. Plus, there is NOT a minimum deposits amount. There are no fees to use your debit card so use it as many times as you need to. You’ll also find that our bill pay and remote check deposit benefits are also fee free. NOTE: Remote deposit is free for 10 checks a month. See a list of our minimal fees here.
- Will credit unions work with bad credit?
Yes! We try to help our member improve their credit score and establish new credit. We also offer financial counseling and education.
- How do you get a credit union loan?
Most loans offered by a bank are also offered by a credit union. You can find a home loan, car loan, recreational loan, even a small vacation loan with your local credit union.
You can apply for a Signet loan online or meet with one of our lenders in person. Learn more here. If you’re shopping for a car, we have several dealerships that offer a dealer direct loan through Signet. So, there’s no need to even stop by your branch; find the car you love and start the loan process right there! Find a qualifying dealership near you, here.
- How do credit unions impact their community?
Being active in their community is a priority for every credit union. We are a group of like-minded members and so enjoy working together for the betterment of our community and our credit union members.
In the past Signet has been able to volunteer throughout the year at local food assistance programs. They’ve also launched Holidays of Hope, their Christmas season time of giving. Throughout November and December they’re volunteering and donating to local nonprofits. Previously, they’ve partnered with:
- The Hugs Project of Western Kentucky to show troops abroad that we stand with them.
- Paducah Cooperative Ministries, a local organization that has bill and food assistance programs available to local families.
- The Gentry House in Murray, KY, a shelter for local families. They also offer temporary hotel fee assistance and rental deposits when a family leaves the shelter.
- The Murray Calloway Need Line, a food assistance program who assists local families all year long.