WHAT IS A CREDIT UNION?
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 11,000 federal and state-chartered credit unions nationwide. Deposits are insured up to $250,000.
What makes a credit union different from a bank or savings & loan? 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.
WHY JOIN A CREDIT UNION?
Founded on the basic democratic premise of the cooperative movement, credit unions believe that access to low-cost financial services is critical to the health and stability of ordinary citizens. In fact, more than 67 million Americans trust that their credit union will provide the services to improve their financial well being.
Credit union membership offers many benefits. Services offered range from simple savings to home equity loans to IRAs. Study after study has revealed that on average, credit unions provide the best financial offerings with fewer fees, lower rates on loans and higher rates on savings. And credit unions continually score higher than all other financial institutions in consumer satisfaction surveys.
Credit unions strive to deliver the best service possible to their most important asset – their members.
Since May of 1932, CECU has been tailoring a customized assortment of services to the lifestyles of its members. Originally chartered to serve the men and women employed at Knoxville’s City Hall, CECU has expanded its field of membership to include anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school within Knox, Union, Blount, Anderson, and Loudon counties and the employees (and ALL their relatives!) of many of the departments, organizations, and other select companies associated with the area’s “Public Service” sector.
SAFETY & SOUNDNESS
CECU has consistently been recognized as one of the strongest and safest credit unions in the state.
Its financial books and operating practices are examined periodically by the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions and NCUA. Also, an independent firm of certified public accountants conducts a yearly audit of the credit union as directed by CECU’s Supervisory Committee.
Nationally, CECU has regularly received a superior, 5-star rating from the Bauer Financial Group, a company that independently rates all financial institutions on soundness, security, & management practices.
What does that financial strength mean to our members? Every year since 2002 CECU has returned income to our members in the form of Bonus Dividends or Interest Rebates. This is after paying above-market rates on deposits and charging below-market rates on loans.
YOUR FUNDS ARE FEDERALLY INSURED
Each member’s funds are federally insured. Individually they’re insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration, an agency of the United States Government. In addition to their individual insured accounts, each person is entitled to a maximum of $250,000 coverage for their interest in all of their joint accounts. IRA accounts are insured separately up to another $250,000.
For complete information, be sure to ask for our informative brochure on NCUA’s insurance coverage.
CECU offers an additional form of overdraft protection for our members. The service is called Courtesy Overdraft Protection. For years, many of our members have taken advantage of our Overdraft Protection using their savings and line of credit to cover overdrafts. Courtesy Overdraft offers the third line of coverage. When the other protections are exhausted, Courtesy Overdraft will kick in.
If you currently qualify for our regular debit card (not low limit), and your account has been open for at least 30 days you are automatically eligible for this service. The service allows us to temporarily take your checking account into the negative to cover an Insufficient Funds (NSF) check, debit, or ACH item. This will allow members to avoid the embarrassment and cost of return check fees at merchants, late charges on some payments, or dealing with check cashing or payday loan services.
You will be charged an NSF charge for every item that is covered by this service. You will be allowed to go into the negative for up to $300. The $300 is the maximum, inclusive of NSF fees. However, you must bring your account positive within 30 days. If you fail to bring your account positive within 30 days, you will lose all credit union privileges, be subject to expulsion, and collection action. Only one checking account per member will be granted this protection. You may opt-out of this service by writing us and simply stating you wish to opt-out.
Please note: Any item attempting to clear an account that has insufficient funds available to cover it, at the time the item attempts to clear, is an NSF and subject to the NSF fee.