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What is a Credit Union?

The credit union idea is a simple one: People should be able to pool their money and make loans to each other. It's an idea that evolved from cooperative activities in 19th century Europe.

Since that time, the idea's guiding principles have remained the same:

(1) Only people who are credit union members should borrow there;

(2) loans are made for "prudent and productive" purposes;

(3) a person's desire to repay (character) is considered more important than the ability (income) to repay.

Members are, after all, borrowing their own money and that of their friends.

These principles still govern most of the world's credit unions.
A credit union is a cooperative financial institution, owned and controlled by the people who use its services. These people are members. Credit unions serve groups that share something in common, such as where they work, live, or go to church. Credit unions are not-for-profit, and exist to provide a safe, convenient place for members to save money and to get loans at reasonable rates.

Credit unions, like other financial institutions, are closely regulated. And they operate in a very prudent manner. The National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, administered by the National Credit Union Administration, an agency of the federal government, insures deposits of credit union members at more than 8,700 federal and state-chartered credit unions nationwide. Deposits are insured up to $250,000.

What makes a credit union different from a bank? Like credit unions, these financial institutions accept deposits and make loans--but unlike credit unions, they are in business to make a profit. Banks and savings & loans are owned by groups of stockholders whose interests include earning a healthy return on their investments.

As a member of Nikkei Credit Union, you can count on a strong financial relationship you and your family can count on for many, many years to come.

Read more about Nikkei Credit Union membership >>>