If you have never heard of a federal credit union before, you might be interested to find out a bit more about it. This is particularly the case if you are dissatisfied with the high interest rates on loans and credit cards that you are constantly bombarded with elsewhere.
A credit union differs from a bank or other financial body in that it is solely owned and managed by the people who are a part of it. With a normal bank you are a customer, even though you hold your money with them and let them use it in return for certain guarantees and a rate of interest that you may not be happy with.
A credit union doesn't run like this. You have money invested in it but you are also a member of it and you help to run it. In a sense then it is a closed society, and this closed aspect of it comes with certain benefits.
The biggest difference between credit unions and any other kind of financial institution such as a bank is that the former does not profit from its existence. The members profit in a way, because they receive much better financial assistance when they need it. But the business itself does not make a profit because all monies are ploughed back into it to help the members when required.
As you would expect a credit union is much smaller in size though. However this is not a barrier to the work it can do to make life easier for the people who are a part of it. If a member of a federal credit union needs a loan for example, they can ask the credit union to supply them with one. If the loan is granted, it will be at much lower rates than the person could get from the average bank or other lender.
As such there are distinct advantages to being a member of a federal credit union. The level of service you will get is also a benefit, because the union does not have to profit from loaning you the money.