What is a Credit Union?

A credit union is a cooperatively owned financial institution. What this means is that a group of people, like yourself, have gotten together to pool their money for the benefit of all. From the outside, a credit union looks much like a bank. A credit union will offer financial services such as savings accounts, checking accounts, IRA accounts, loans of all types and other various financial products. The big difference is, when you open an account at a credit union, you become a member and a part owner.

A credit union is owned by the membership. Each year, a credit union will hold an annual meeting to elect a board of directors and to report the credit union’s status to the membership. Each member, regardless of how much they have on deposit, is entitled to one vote at the annual meeting. The board of directors is elected from the membership and serves without pay. The board guides the credit union, to insure that it is operated on a sound financial basis, and to chart a course for implementing new services requested by the membership.

A credit union is a not-for-profit organization. All profits made are returned to the members in some fashion. This may be in the form of an interest rebate on loan interest paid, an extra dividend paid to savings accounts, lower loan rates, fee reductions, or various other methods. What this means for you is that loans and services will generally cost you less and savings will generally pay you more than elsewhere because the need to make a profit is eliminated. Credit union membership is financially rewarding!!

The money that you have on deposit is safe. All deposits in any Vermont credit union are federally insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Insurance Fund (NCUIF) which is administered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the United States Government.

There are three basic types of credit unions. A community based credit union can accept members from a specific geographic area. (i.e. River Valley Credit Union). An occupational based credit union can accept members with a similar occupation (i.e. printers, steelworkers, etc.). An organizational credit union can accept members from an organization (i.e. St. Anne’s Parish, etc.). Membership in a credit union is not open to just anybody. The membership requirements for each credit union are based on its type of charter.

More than eighty million people across the United States are taking advantage of the low-cost financial services of a credit union. Shouldn’t you become one of them?

If you would like additional information about becoming a member of the River Valley Credit Union, please check out our Membership Information page.

Our Mission
River Valley Credit Union exists to improve our members’ financial health.