The Difference of Membership

Becoming a credit union member may be easier than you think! For more information on membership with Valley First Credit Union, simply visit a branch near you, call Member Service at (209) 549-8500 or Toll Free at (877) 549-4567, or visit our Become a Member page to check eligibility.

The Difference between Credit Unions and Banks
Credit Unions Banks
Not-for-profit Profit-oriented
Returns profits to members in the form of lower loan rates, higher savings rates, and free or low-cost services Returns profits to stockholders
Each person who deposits money is a member with a share of ownership Customers have no ownership in the corporation
Members elect a volunteer Board of Directors to represent their interests Controlled by stockholders and paid officials
Member-service driven Profit-driven
Are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration or a private insurer Are federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Can serve only those individuals within their field of membership Can serve anyone in the general public

What is a Credit Union?
A credit union is a not-for-profit financial institution/cooperative that is owned and controlled by it's members in the communities they serve. A credit union's member deposits are insured by the NCUA up to at least $250,000. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is an agency of the federal government which insures member deposits at over 8,000 credit unions nationwide - much the same as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures banks. A Credit unions' focus on serving their members helps to keep interest rates on deposits higher, and loan rates and fees lower. In addition, a nationwide system of 25,000 surcharge-free ATMs make credit unions convenient and accessible to everyone. There are nearly ten million members in California and Nevada and more than 90 million nationwide.
Click to learn how everyone in your community is benefiting from credit unions.