Credit unions are the not-for-profit financial cooperatives that offer the same services as banks such as checking accounts and savings accounts. They have the same government-backed guarantee on deposits up to $250,000.
With Credit Unions, the members are the owners. At banks, profits go to shareholders or owners. Since credit unions are not-for-profit the money earned is returned to the members in the form of lower fees, better loan rates, etc. Some credit unions do have requirements for membership such as residing or working in the county.
If you are a student or resident of Yolo County, you are eligible to join any of the credit unions in Davis.
Credit Unions vs. Banks
Credit unions are insured by the NCUA (National Credit Union Administration). This insurance is just like the FDIC insurance for banks. Your money is just as safe at a credit union as at a bank.
Banks are for-profit companies who are motivated to maximize the profits they can make off of depositors to give to their shareholders and executives. This is often achieved through fees and other methods. These methods are documented and mailed to you on an annual basis, but most banks realize that customers usually don't take the time to read through the documents.
Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives which are owned by the members. Credit unions are generally democratic institutions, with a board of directors elected by member depositors, while Banks are generally corporate institutions which answer to a board of directors elected by shareholders. Credit unions often are able to offer lower loan rates to their members than banks due to the fact that credit unions are not-for-profit. Locally based credit unions are also a good way to employ local people to help the local economy. Of course, when choosing whether to go with a bank or credit union, each individual needs to decide which institution will give them better deals.
Moving your money away from banks with excessive fees can save you a great deal of money in the long run. For example, many of the credit unions in Davis offer Free Checking accounts with no monthly fees and some even offer free checks. If your bank charges you a $10 monthly fee, it can add up to $120 per year.
Credit Unions in Davis
Golden 1 Credit Union - First box of checks free with new student checking accounts, no minimum balance, no monthly fee, free online bill pay. You can scan and deposit checks online from a computer with a scanner for free.
University and State Employees Credit Union - 1 free overdraft/year, free online bill pay, no minimum balance or monthly fee. You can scan and deposit checks online from a computer with a scanner for free. Earn $25 for referring a new member. (Up to $150 maximum). New referred members will get $25. (Membership is open to students & Davis residents.) No annual fee credit cards.
Yolo Federal Credit Union Largest number of surcharge free ATMs: US Bank ATMs, MoneyPass, & CO-OP ATMs (credit union ATMs), free bill pay, free student checking account and e-checking account available
Credit Union ATMs and Service
All of the credit unions in Davis are part of the CO-OP ATM network, where you can use your credit union ATM card without a fee. There are over 28,000 CO-OP ATMs across the country, which is more than any other bank. Bank of America for example, only has 18,000 ATMs. CO-OP ATMs are in every state, while most banks only have ATMs in a limited number of states.
Credit Unions have many advantages over banks in that credit union membership gives you access to ATMs in all 50 states. You can bank anywhere.
Some credit unions are part of the CU Service Center network. That means that you can walk into any participating credit union branch in this network and deposit cash or withdraw cash for free. USE Credit Union and Golden 1 are members of this network. That means you have a network of thousands of branches to do banking in every state.