International Credit Union Day is observed on the third Thursday of October every year, falling on October 20th this year. International Credit Union Day is celebrated across the world, and it is an opportunity for Credit Unions and the communities they serve to reflect upon the credit union movement, promote credit union achievements, and share the impact credit unions have on their members.
Credit unions are full-service financial institutions that provide the same products, services, and benefits offered by other financial institutions. Credit unions differ because they are not-for-profit financial cooperatives owned by and operated for the benefit of the customers (members) they serve. Credit unions serve their members, not investors. Credit unions are cooperatives or organized groups of people with some common bond. Examples of a common bond may be your employer, the community in which you live, a faith-based organization, a school, or the military, just to name a few.
For example, Direct Federal Credit Union in Massachusetts offers membership to anyone who lives, works, or worships in Norfolk or Middlesex County in Massachusetts – that’s over 2,000,000 people who can join Direct Federal. To learn more about Direct Federal Credit Union in Needham – visit www.Direct.com.
This year, Direct Federal Credit Union, along with its 30,000 members, will be celebrating and recognizing its commitment to delivering great rates, saving its members money, providing easy accessibility to save time, and providing remarkable service to preserve peace of mind.
History of International Credit Union Day
You might be wondering how a credit union is different from a bank. Credit unions are interested in advancing their communities because they are owned by the people they serve daily. That’s why they work so hard to improve their members’ savings; help them invest in their homes, businesses, and education, and secure a stronger financial future. No matter what life brings, credit unions have been there to help strengthen the financial lives of individuals, families, and businesses in their communities.
In 1948, the U.S. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) started a new National Credit Union Day celebration. The World Council of Credit Unions was created in 1971 to help others establish and maintain viable credit union movements in countries across the globe. International Credit Union Day has been observed on the third Thursday of October since 1948 and was created to celebrate Credit Unions and their meaning to the community.
International Credit Union Day FAQs
Who started International Credit Union Day?
International Credit Union (ICU) Day® has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948 and was founded by the World Council of Credit Unions and Credit Union National Association (CUNA). CUNA is recognized as the most influential financial services trade association and one of Washington’s Top 10 most respected associations. The day was created to raise awareness about the tremendous work credit unions, and other financial cooperatives do worldwide.
Why are we celebrating credit unions?
Local credit unions, like Direct Federal Credit Union in Massachusetts, are member-owned financial institutions directly contributing to your community—where you live, work, and worship. They have an interest in investing in the local communities because people in those communities own them. This community investment comes in the form of philanthropy, volunteerism, financial education and funding, small business supporters, and more. Additionally, when you bank with a credit union, your money is invested in the community through loans and other services. Credit Unions have thousands of local members that have taken advantage of their low-rate, affordable real estate loans and have invested in the local economy and communities they serve.
Credit Unions want to improve their member’s savings, help them invest in their homes, businesses, and education, and secure a solid financial future. On International Credit Union Day, we celebrate that.
Why do you need to become a member at a Credit Union? What does that mean?
Each Credit Union offers membership to a specific group of people that varies by credit union. Membership is typically done by opening a Savings Account at the Credit Union. After you have a Savings Account, you can open any additional accounts or apply for a loan.
For instance, Direct Federal Credit Union in Needham, Massachusetts, allows anyone who lives, works, or worships in Norfolk or Middlesex County in Massachusetts – that’s over 2,000,000 people who can join the credit union. You automatically become a member by applying for a loan or opening an account. To learn more about Direct Federal Credit Union, visit www.Direct.com.
Reach out to your local Credit Union(s) to find one that is right for you.
Why would someone bank with a local Credit Union versus a large national bank?
Banks and credit unions are similar in many ways. Both accept deposits, offer loans, and are secure places to keep your money. But there are major differences between the two.
Credit unions are focused on their members, not shareholders. Credit unions have a vested interest in strengthening their communities because they are in those communities and are focused on helping their members meet their financial potential.
At a credit union, like Direct Federal Credit Union in Massachusetts, you can get more personalized service than you may receive at a bank. Because credit unions are not-for-profit and serve their members, profits are shared with members through higher yields on deposit accounts, fewer and lower fees, lower loan interest rates, and personalized lending flexibility. Almost 90% of Direct Federal members strongly agree or agree they received remarkable service from the credit union, and 94% strongly agree or agree they received a great rate from the credit union.
Credit unions care about the community they’re in and the people they serve.
Using Direct Federal Credit Union as an example, what do Credit Unions provide that a larger, national financial institution doesn’t provide?
Direct Federal Credit Union has a long history of offering a remarkable member experience and service, coupled with the technology and capability to bank with them wherever, whenever, and however you want. While they are a local credit union ingrained in its community, its core operating model is designed to serve its members wherever, whenever, and however, they want. Their unique business model, where everything they save from only having the expenses of ONE branch, allows them to offer lower rates than other financial institutions—with the bonus of having the technology to support their members no matter how they bank with them.
Direct Federal Credit Union chooses not to spend money on a network of branches. They believe that having one branch doesn’t mean They’re hard to bank with; it means they’re easy and smart to bank with.
Are Credit Unions less advanced than larger, national financial institutions?
No. Many Credit Unions offer advanced Online Banking and Mobile App capabilities that are similar to or, in some cases, better than the technology and digital banking capabilities of the larger, national financial institutions. Direct Federal Credit Union, for example, scores in the top 5 credit unions and banks in the state for the number of digital offerings. They have put the technology and systems in place to allow their members to bank with them wherever and whenever they want.
How to Observe International Credit Union Day
Learn about your local Credit Union
Research your local Credit Union options. Take a look at your current interest rates on loans and what you’re earning in your Savings accounts. Think about the customer service you are receiving from your financial institution. If you are unhappy with what you see, research what your local credit union can do for you.
Join a Credit Union
Celebrate International Credit Union Day by joining a Credit Union. In doing so, you will become part of a community that works toward helping people like you realize their dreams in the best way possible. If you’re based in Massachusetts, head over to Direct.com to learn more.
Brush up on your financial literacy
Visit your local credit union's website to check out their resources on financial education. You can visit the DirectLIFE portal at Direct Federal Credit Union and take online classes about basic financial education topics.
Help one of the organizations your local Credit Union supports
Credit Unions work hard to make a positive difference in the communities they serve by integrating our community engagement efforts into their everyday business and leveraging our strengths and resources to make the greatest impact. Direct Federal Credit Union is able to provide financial support to 501(c)(3) organizations in the 82 cities and towns located in Norfolk and Middlesex County. Their philanthropic support includes monetary donations, event sponsorships, and scholarships in local schools. They also recognize that sometimes financial support is just not enough, so they volunteer in their neighborhoods for local organizations. In addition, they use financial education to connect with our community and teach valuable skills that promote financial capability in the 82 cities and towns they serve. Visit your local Credit Union's website to learn what organizations they support and connect with that organization to see how you can help.
International Credit Union Day dates