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Are Credit Unions Non-Profit?

Yes, credit unions are non-profit organizations owned and controlled by the Members who use their services. Credit unions operate to promote the well-being of their Members.
Profits made by credit unions are returned back to Members in the form of reduced fees, higher savings rates, and lower loan rates. A credit union is managed by a volunteer board of directors, elected by Members. For more details about credit unions visit
Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal) is one of the fastest growing credit unions in Southern California, providing checking, savings, and loan products with quick pre-approvals, no application or funding fees, and other great member benefits.
Call CU SoCal at 866.287.6225 to schedule a free no-obligation consultation, or apply for Membership online today!

Get Started on Your Membership Today

This article will cover the main benefits of joining a credit union.

What Are Credit Unions?

Federal Credit Unions (FCUs) are not-for-profit, cooperative financial institutions, owned and run by their Members. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)—an independent federal government agency—charters, supervises, and insures credit unions. Due to their not-for-profit, cooperative nature, FCUs are exempt from both federal and state income taxes.

How Do Credit Unions Differ From Banks?

There are several key ways that credit unions differ from banks:


Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations and exist to serve their Members. Like banks, credit unions accept deposits, make loans, and provide a wide array of other financial services. However, as member-owned and cooperative institutions, credit unions can provide better rates than banks.


Banks are for-profit and privately owned. Many have shareholders and are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Protecting Your Money

Credit Unions: The NCUA insures federal credit unions and Members’ deposits, and federally chartered credit unions are subject to NCUA regulations, while state-chartered institutions are overseen by state regulatory boards.
Banks: The FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) is an independent agency of the United States government that monitors banks for financial soundness as well as compliance with consumer protection laws. The FDIC protects account holders against the loss of their insured deposits if an FDIC-insured bank or savings association fails.

Credit Union Membership Has Benefits

As member-owned entities, credit unions don’t issue stock and don’t pay dividends. Any income that credit unions receive gets reinvested back into the organization.
One of the most significant benefits of credit union Membership is credit unions are usually able to offer lower fees for checking and savings accounts than banks.
In addition, they sometimes offer slightly higher interest rates on financial deposits than banks. For more information on how credit unions differ from banks, click here.
Are credit unions better than banks? Each financial institution provides nearly similar savings, checking, and loan options, yet each also offers unique products and services.

​How Do You Become A Member?

Credit unions require Membership, and there are typical requirements of becoming a credit union member.
Anyone can join a credit union, as long as you are within the credit union’s field of Membership. This is the common bond between Members. The common bond could be your employer, a family member who is already a member, geographic location, and Membership in a group, such as a place of worship, school, labor union or homeowners' association.
At CU SoCal there are three ways to be eligible for Membership:
  • Live, work, attend school or religious services in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside or San Bernardino.
  • Be related to a current member of CU SoCal.
  • Be an employee of a partnering business.

What Services & Benefits Do Credit Unions Offer?

Credit unions offer a wide range of services, that include traditional banking options including personal and business savings, checking accounts; loans for autos, boats, RVs; certificates of deposit, financial planning, credit cards, mobile banking, fraud protection, and much more.
For example, CU SoCal financial services include:

Checking Accounts
  • CU SoCal checking accounts allow mobile banking, bill payments, and much more.
  • As part of the service, you can get your personal Visa debit card from any of the CU SoCal branches.
  • Choose a Classic Checking account or a Rewards checking account
  • With tens of thousands of ATM locations available through the CO-OP Network, your funds will never be out of reach.
Savings Accounts
  • Only a $10 minimum deposit allows you to open a savings account with CU SoCal.
  • As long as you maintain a $500 balance, we will be sharing dividends with you too.
  • Above all, you get all the necessary services such as automatic deposits and transfers, online services such as mobile banking, online banking, and much more.
Whether you need a mortgage to purchase a new home, or you’d like to refinance your current mortgage, or you’re interested in a reverse mortgage, CU SoCal can help make it happen.
Auto Loans
CU SoCal auto loans are available at very competitive rates, and you can qualify for receiving up to 120% financing on new or second-hand cars too. With an auto loan from CU SoCal, the payback period can be extended up to 84 months, reducing your monthly payments and making it far easier to keep up with your loan.


Some of the many benefits of credit unions, including CU SoCal, include:
  • Higher Savings Rates
  • Lower Interest Rates
  • Lower Fees
  • Better Member Service
  • More Lenient on Credit History for Loan Approvals

Is Joining A Credit Union Worth It?

Credit unions and banks both have their unique advantages. Credit unions can provide great rates, lower fees, personalized service, and more flexible loan criteria which makes it easier to qualify for certain loans.
While credit unions have fewer locations than nationally known banks, most credit unions allow shared branch transactions. Members of most any credit union can use a shared branch to make in-person and ATM deposits and withdrawals.
Banks, particularly large banks, offer a wider range of checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans, and investment accounts. However, banks sometimes lack the personal touch associated with credit unions.
Research shows that 41% of consumers have an account with a credit union, but only 18% of consumers consider their credit union their primary financial institution. What do these numbers tell us? When it comes to our finances, there’s no one-size-fits all solution. Credit unions and banks both play important roles in meeting financial needs.
So, is joining a credit union worth it? We think so! And, we would love to have you as a CU SoCal member!

Why Savvy Consumers Choose CU SoCal

For over 60 years, Credit Union of Southern California has been proudly serving the Southern California community. We provide our Members with checking, savings, personal loans, and other loan products with quick pre-approvals, no application or funding fees, and other unique advantages.
We are known throughout the area for our excellent Member service and we are proud to be serving the community where we work and live.
Please give us a call today at 866.287.6225 to schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our Member service experts.
Get Started on Your Membership Today

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Building Better Lives

Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal) is a leading financial institution empowering those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County to reach their goals and build strong financial futures. CU SoCal provides access to convenient money management services and offers competitive rates and flexible terms on auto loans, mortgages, and VISA credit cards—turning wishing and waiting into achieving and doing.


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