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What is a credit union?

Credit unions, called by various names around the world, are member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives that provide savings, credit and other financial services to their members. Credit union membership is based on a common bond, a linkage shared by savers and borrowers who belong to a specific community, organization, religion or place of employment. First Ohio Community FCU serves the public of Stark County, Ohio. Credit unions pool their members’ savings deposits and shares to finance their own loan portfolios rather than rely on outside capital. Members benefit from higher returns on savings, lower rates on loans and fewer fees on average.

Credit unions worldwide offer members from all walks of life much more than financial services. They provide members the chance to own their own financial institution and help them create opportunities such as starting small businesses, growing farms, building family homes and educating their children.

Regardless of account size in the credit union, each member may run for the volunteer board of directors and cast a vote in elections. In some countries, members encounter their first taste of democratic decision making through their credit unions.