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The Credit Union Difference

When it comes to looking for a financial institution you can trust, we understand that you want to work with people who really care about you.  It may not seem like banks and credit unions are very different from each other.  While they offer similar products and services, but it’s important to understand how credit unions differ from banks and remain a necessary and popular financial alternative to banks.

What is a credit union?
Credit unions are non-profit, financial cooperatives.  Owned by our members, we exist solely to serve our members.  Each credit union member has equal ownership regardless of how much money a member has on deposit.  At a credit union, every customer is both a member and an owner.

Credit unions vs banks
Unlike banks and most other financial institutions, credit unions do not issue stock or pay dividends to outside stockholders.  Instead, earnings are returned to our members in the form of lower loan rates, higher interest on deposits, lower fees, enhanced service, and financial stability.   Unlike banks, credit unions are governed by a volunteer board of directors, elected by the credit union’s membership. Genisys board members serve voluntarily with no remuneration for their service.

Benefits of credit unions
As stated earlier, credit unions return earnings to members in the form of lower loan rates, higher interest on deposits, lower fees, and enhanced services.  The credit union purpose and philosophy provides benefits in many other ways.  Credit unions exist to help people, not to maximize profits.  Our goal is to serve all of our members well, including those of modest means.  Our members know that their credit union will be there for them in bad times, as well as good.  This people-first philosophy causes credit unions and our employees to get involved in community service activities and worthwhile causes.  Just ask us about Genisys’ involvement or visit our “Making a Difference” [link] page to learn more.

Join a credit union
By federal statute, credit unions cannot serve the general public like a bank.  People qualify for credit union membership through their association with a community, employer, or other organizational affiliation. Genisys Credit Union membership is available to anyone who lives, works, or worships in the lower peninsula of Michigan, several counties in the Minnesota Twin Cities area, or Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  In addition, employees of several companies are eligible to take advantage of the benefits of Genisys.  Join Genisys Credit Union today!

Are credit unions safe?  Are credit unions insured?
Like banks, deposits in credit unions are federally insured.  The National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund protects your funds kept in credit union accounts.  In addition, credit unions have a separate regulator which requires higher capital reserves than those required of banks. Genisys Credit Union is highly rated for safety and soundness.  We have consistently received BauerFinancial’s five-star rating for financial safety and soundness, which is the highest rating a financial institution can receive for overall financial strength. 

Do credit unions pay taxes?
Credit unions do pay taxes - payroll taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes.  Congress exempts credit unions from federal income taxes.  The exemption was established in 1937, affirmed by statute in 1951, and re-affirmed in 1998 in H.R. 1151, the Credit Union Membership Access Act, which states:

“Credit unions, unlike many other participants in the financial services market, are exempt from Federal and most State taxes because credit unions are member-owned, democratically operated, not-for- profit organizations generally managed by volunteer boards of directors and because they have the specified mission of meeting the credit and savings needs of consumers, especially persons of modest means."

For more information about all the benefits Genisys Credit Union offers, visit other sections of our web site or give us a call at (248)322-9800, ext. 5 or (800)521-8550, ext. 5.

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