Credit Unions — Get the Difference

We are always trying to bring better financial ideas to our clients. In this regard, we encourage everyone to consider the advantages of using the banking services of a credit union. Credit Unions are an excellent alternative to traditional for-profit banks. Unique among financial institutions, credit unions offer a variety of benefits to their members. Some credit unions are very small organizations, serving a single company or church; others exceed a billion dollars in assets and serve multiple membership groups or an entire community.

No matter how big or small, all credit unions have things in common that differentiate them from other financial institutions. The most basic difference is that credit union customers, usually called “members”, get more service and benefits for each $1 they pay in fees. Here’s why:

Credit Unions are owned by their members, not stockholders
Each person who deposits money in a credit union becomes a member of the credit union, because their deposit is considered their share of the ownership. That means credit unions are member-owned. As such, they operate with the best interest of their member-owners in mind, and not in the best interest of outside stockholders.

Credit unions are democratically controlled
Credit unions are run by a volunteer board of directors elected by and from the membership. Each member has one vote in electing board members and certain committee members, and can run for election to the board or committees.

Credit unions are not for profit
This doesn’t mean that they do not or should not make a profit. After expenses are paid and reserves are set aside, surplus earnings are returned to members in the forms of higher dividends and lower loan rates. Credit union members also enjoy many free and low-cost services compared to those of other financial service providers.

The safety of your money
All credit union funds are insured to at least $100,000 per depositor (with IRAs insured separately for up to $250,000) by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a U.S. Government Agency. You can count on the safety of your funds. NO member has ever lost a penny in a federally insured retail credit union.

BWFA endorses APL Federal Credit Union. APL provides its members with friendly, high quality services, low fees, and favorable rates. Membership is open to all who live, work or worship in Howard County. APLFCU belongs to a large ATM network where you can bank conveniently, and they have three local branches. For a treat, stop by their newest office off Snowden River Parkway, on the corner of McGaw Road and Stanford Boulevard, next to Apple Ford. Get a feel for how banking will be done in the future—you will be impressed.


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