What does it mean to be a credit union member?

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One of the biggest differences about doing your banking with a credit union is that you are a member of a credit union, not just a customer. But what the heck does membership mean, anyway? And why should you care?

We broke down what exactly it means to be a member.

Credit unions are financial institutions.

Like banks, credit unions provide financial services. We offer savings and chequing accounts, mortgages, retirement savings, financial advice, and every other financial service you can imagine. And because we prioritize people over profit, Canadians have ranked credit unions #1 in customer service for personal banking for over 19 years in a row.

Anybody can become a credit union member.

With the exception of a few specialized credit unions, you don’t need to have a specific job, have a certain amount of money, or know a secret handshake to join a credit union. All you have to do is open an account with us. That’s the only membership requirement.

Credit union members are also owners.

Credit unions are cooperatives (if you’re not sure what that means, check out this post that explains what a credit union is). That means rather than being owned by shareholders—who may or may not do business with us—we’re owned by the people who do their banking with us everyday: our members.

As a credit union member, you have a say.

As an owner in our business, you have a voice in the way we do things. You’re entitled to attend our shareholder meetings and have your say in how we do business. But if you’d rather not, that’s ok too. How much or how little you choose to be involved in how we do business is totally up to you.

Being a credit union member has its benefits.

As a joint owner in our business, what’s good for you is good for us. In other words, when we profit, you profit. And the profits go back to you in lots of ways. This could be through sharing dividends at the end of the year, lower service fees, or better product and service options. Bottom line, if we make money, we reinvest it into things that benefit you and your community.