What is a credit union?

Credit unions are democratically owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives that serve an identified community (rather than the general public). The people and organizations within the identified community are eligible to become “members” or “member-owners” of the credit union. Credit unions are designed to leverage the financial strength of their members in order to provide financial services to one another without the need to make a profit from these transactions. As a member-owner of a credit union, you have the ability to take out loans, make deposits, run for the board of directors, and cast a vote in elections (on a one-vote-per-member basis).

When a credit union is federally chartered, like Clean Energy Credit Union, it is technically a 501(c)(1) tax-exempt organization that’s regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and receives deposit insurance from the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF)

While credit unions are similar to banks, there are also many important differences. To learn more about how credit unions differ from banks, see this FAQ on the subject.

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