Credit Unions 101

What is a Credit Union Anyway?

 Are you looking for that perfect relationship with a financial institution? Often, people think, “which bank should I use?” but if you are seeking that personal touch where you are an actual member and not just a “customer”, a credit union might be the right fit for you. 

Member Owned

Credit unions are member-owned. Yes, that is correct – credit unions do not have stock holders, so when you open an account with a credit union, you become a “member” or part owner. Membership at a credit union is based on a common bond, also known as, a “field of membership”. Examples include a credit union for all educators or those in the medical field. At FBCU, we invite all those who live, work, worship or attend school in one of 17 West Texas counties to join our credit union. Click here to view First Basin’s Field of Membership. 

To become a member at First Basin, we also require a $25 deposit into your savings account. That $25 is your buy-in to the credit union to become a member and part owner. However, that $25 does belong to you, so if you ever close your account to leave FBCU you can take your $25. 

As part owners, members elect a board of directors to manage the credit union. Each year an annual meeting is held for board review and elections. Being a member-owned, not-for-profit organization, a credit union is operated on the principle of “people helping people”. 

Not-For-Profit

Not-for-profit means that credit unions, FBCU included, operate to serve and promote the well-being of members. Profits made by credit unions are returned back to members through reduced fees, higher savings rates and lower loan rates. 

Competitive Rates

Members are also provided credit at competitive rates, along with numerous other financial services such as home loans, auto loans, CDs and IRAs, Christmas and vacation account opportunities, credit booster loans, easy access to your money through technology and much more.

Safe 

As a credit union member, a question commonly heard is “will the money in my checking and savings accounts be guaranteed?” The answer is, yes. Credit unions, First Basin included, belong to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which is comparable to the FDIC for banks. The same amount of money is guaranteed by the NCUA as is by the FDIC, which means, should anything go wrong with your credit union your account is federally insured and guaranteed up to $250,000.

In addition to putting our members first so they can achieve financial success, many credit unions also celebrate active community involvement. This varies from volunteering, sponsoring non-profit organizations, financial education and consistent outreach to consumers. FBCU is proud to support and be actively involved with more than 40 non-profit organizations in the Midland and Odessa community.

 

Would you like to find out more about becoming a member at First Basin? 

You've come to the right place!