Credit Union Near Me
A credit union is similar to a bank, except that it is owned by its customers. Many of them are intended to support communities or charities, rather than to turn profits as in traditional banks. Some credit unions are small volunteer operations, whereas the largest credit unions can be as large as hundreds of thousands of members, and worth several billion dollars. The major differences between credit unions and traditional banks are that the members own the bank, and elect the board of directors with a single vote per member, regardless of their amount invested. To find your closest credit union, just search Credit Union near me.
Credit Union Near Me – Find it on the Map
Credit Union Near Me – Credit Union Trivia
How large are credit unions worldwide?
At the end of 2014, there were 57,480 credit unions in 105 countries around the world. Altogether, they include 217.4 million members, and own $1.79 trillion US in assets. Credit unions are the most popular in the United States, where there are over one hundred million total members. The next most popular countries are India with twenty million members, and Canada with ten million. However, in terms of percentage of population, Barbados has the highest number of credit union members. 82% of Barbadians are members of credit unions, and Ireland has 75% of members.
How did credit unions begin?
The first successful credit unions were created by Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch in Germany. These unions were similar to today’s, in that they were based on the principles of democracy, equality and solidarity. He created the world’s first two credit unions, in Eilenburg and in Delitzsch. All of his credit unions were in urban areas and catered for merchants, artisans and traders. The first rural credit unions were created by another German, Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen. He recognised that the rural customers were poorer than the city customers, and had a more seasonal and less reliable income flow. This made it difficult for them to keep up with steady loan repayments. Raiffeisen was able to cater for their needs, and so the country unions became successful. Schulze-Delitzsch and Raiffeisen were each critical of each other’s ideas, though. Schulze-Delitzsch argued that Raiffeisen’s idea to have only a single paid employee, the cashier, that they were unsafe (the other employees were volunteers). Raiffeisen disapproved of Schulze-Delitzsch‘s decision to limit the liability of credit union members, because he believed that doing so would limit the power of rural unions to fund loans from members’ savings.
What services to credit unions offer?
Credit unions offer services very similar to standard banks. This includes savings and checking accounts. Some offer discounts on bank fees, or higher than normal interest rates, for students or pensioners. Some offer even higher interest rates if the account is only deposited into, and not withdrawn from. Many credit unions offer credit cards, however they may only offer one or two cards, as compared to a bank that may offer a dozen different types of cards. Credit unions also offer loans, both home loans and car or personal loans. The loan terms will usually be more forgiving than those of for-profit banks, and may offer payment plans to members who struggle to make payments.
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Credit Union Near Me – Credit Union Facts
Credit unions are often just as safe as the commercial banks, being protected and insured to the same extent. However, some are not completely protected, so it is important for customers to be sure before they enter into financial arrangements.
In 1934, President Franklin D Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act. This established a system of federal credit unions in order to make credit more available to the general public. The credit union law was based on the earlier work of Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch in Germany. The main purpose of these credit unions was to improve thriftiness and reduce usury and unfair loan terms during the Great Depression.
Some credit unions require potential customers to live in a particular city, town or state in order to be a member. Some are even more restrictive, and are designed solely for the employees of a particular company. Others are more open and will allow any member to join. Credit unions, except for the largest, do not typically control their own ATM networks. Instead they may enter into deals with the larger banks in order to allow their members to use that bank’s ATMs.
Many credit unions allow their members to remain members for as long as their account remains open. This happens even if the member no longer meets the original requirements to become a member. Some other credit unions require that the member maintains a minimum amount of balance in order to remain a member.
In 2010, the Bank of America wrongfully foreclosed on a couple, who sued and won the case. When the Bank of America failed to pay the couple, they obtained a writ allowing them to show up at the bank and seize furniture and cash!
In the Great Depression, a gangster known as Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd was a serial bank robber. The public greatly appreciated him, however, because he would often destroy mortgage papers at the banks he robbed, thus freeing many people from their debts. The biggest bank heist in recent history was the Banco Central in Fortaleza, Brazil, in 2005. The robbers rented a commercial property in the city and spent three months tunneling a 256-foot tunnel underneath the bank vault. They stole 3.5 tons of Brazilian bank notes, most of which were never recovered.
Some Italian banks accept parmesan cheese as collateral for loans! They keep hundreds of thousands of cheese wheels in special climate-controlled vaults for two years, until the cheese matures.
To find the closest credit union to you, simply search for Credit Union near me!