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Membership FAQ

Membership FAQ

Membership Frequently Asked Questions – The More You Know

Credit Unions provide many of the same products and services as banks and other financial institutions. The big difference, however, is that unlike banks, credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives. Our earnings are returned to our members in the form of higher yield on savings and investment accounts, lower interest rates on loans, low fee money management services and outstanding customer service. Most importantly, we are member-owned. If you join the credit union, then you own a share of it and are even given a say at the annual meeting. Below are some interesting facts about credit unions and how they operate.

What is a credit union?

As a financial cooperative, Choice One is owned by its members. Member savings form a pool of money that enables the credit union to offer low cost loans and account services, amongst other things. Once overhead and other expenses are paid and reserves set aside, income from loans is returned to members in the form of expanded loan services, higher dividends and a larger cushion against losses.

After a credit union has met its other goals, it can give any remaining surplus back to the members as bonus dividends or loan interest rebates.

What makes credit unions different from other financial institutions?

Credit unions are not-for-profit and democratically controlled by their members, not stockholders. Members elect a board of directors from the existing member pool. They are responsible for setting credit union policy. Day-to-day operations are handled by paid professionals, or in the case of some smaller credit unions, volunteers.

Credit unions do not make profits. While a credit union needs income to provide more services and updated benefits, its primary purpose is to help members create a more secure financial future with the loans and services they need to make their lives easier.

Who can join a credit union?

Not everyone can join a credit union. Every credit union serves a specific field of membership as defined by its charter. Anyone who falls within this common bond can join. A common bond can be defined as the employees of a company, members of a civic or church group organization, or residents of a community. Generally, persons within a member’s immediate family, by blood or marriage, may also become members.

At Choice One Community Credit Union, you are eligible to join if you live, work, worship, attend school, or own a business entity in Luzerne, Lackawanna or Wyoming Counties. Once you join, your immediate family members may also do so.

Who governs a credit union?

A credit union receives its authority to operate by obtaining a federal or state charter. State-chartered credit unions follow the regulations set by the State Credit Union Act, and federally chartered ones fall under the Federal Credit Union Act.

Annual examinations and oversight are conducted by the supervisory agencies ‒ the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for federal credit unions ‒ and the Pennsylvania Department of Banking for credit unions chartered under Pennsylvania laws.

Choice One Community Credit Union is chartered under the Federal Credit Union Act and governed as well by its member-elected Board of Directors.

Are your savings insured?

Member deposit accounts are federally insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which is administered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). This fund is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. No taxpayer funds are used to support the NCUA or the credit union insurance fund.

There are also steps you can take to have higher balances that are also insured. Contact the credit union for complete details.

About Choice One

We serve more than 13,000 members (and counting) throughout Pennsylvania. If you live, work, worship, go to school or own a business entity in Luzerne, Lackawanna or Wyoming Counties, you are eligible to join. So, stop in today and see the difference at Choice One!

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