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What is a credit union?

A credit union is a financial institution that's owned by the people who use its services. The credit union is a cooperative and its customers are members.

Credit unions typically are organized on behalf of a group of people who have something in common, such as an employer. The credit union's organizing charter will define who is eligible to become a member.

 When did credit unions start?

The first credit union in the United States was formed in 1908 in New Hampshire. The idea behind credit unions originated in Germany in the mid-1800s.

 What financial services do credit unions offer?

Services vary among different credit unions. Credit unions all offer savings accounts, typically referred to as "Share accounts." From there, the list of services offered varies. Credit unions typically provide a selection of services that are tailored to the needs and interests of their members.

 How many credit unions are there in the United States?

There are more than 10,850 credit unions, with more than 76.7 million members.

 How can someone become a credit union member?

Someone interested in joining their credit union should probably first check with their employer to see if credit union services are available to employees. You may also wish to check with your spouse's employer. You can also contact the credit union representative in your state to get more information on community credit unions and other options available to you.