Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes credit unions different from other financial institutions?

Credit unions are not-for-profit and democratically controlled by their members. There are no stockholders. Members elect a volunteer Board of Directors from its membership. The Board is responsible for setting credit union policy. Daily operations are handled by paid professionals, or in the case of a smaller credit union, by volunteers.

Credit unions do not make profits. While a credit union needs income to provide member services and benefits, its primary purpose is to help its members create a more secure financial future

Who can join a credit union?

Not everyone can join a credit union. Credit unions serve a specific field of membership as defined by their federal or state charter. Anyone who falls within this common bond can join. A common bond is defined as the employees of a company, members of a civic or church group organization, or residents of a community. Generally, persons within a member’s immediate family, by blood or marriage, may also become members.

If you work at one of our select employer groups or organizations, you are eligible for Members 1st membership. Once you join, your immediate family can also become members.

Who governs a credit union?

A credit union receives its authority to operate by obtaining a federal or state charter. Annual examinations and oversight are conducted by government supervisory agencies, including the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for federal credit unions ‒ and the Pennsylvania Department of Banking for credit unions chartered under Pennsylvania state law. Members 1st is also governed by its member-elected Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee.

Are my savings insured?

Member deposit accounts are federally insured for up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCSIF), which is administered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). This fund is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. No taxpayer funds are used to support the NCUA or the credit union insurance fund. There are also steps you can take to have higher insured balances. Contact the credit union for the details.

I don't have a great credit rating and can’t get a traditional bank account, will I be able to open an account?

We provide savings and checking accounts for people who’ve had challenges in the past and need a fresh start. We also offer lending products for people with not-so-great credit. Ask for the details.

Do all members save money by using a credit union?

Studies show the average member saves between $150 and $300 a year by conducting most of their financial business with a credit union instead of a bank. However, the more financial products and services you use, the more you’ll save.