Credit unions are not banks, although they serve many of the same functions. Both banks and credit unions have insured deposits, up to $250,00, and are charted and overseen by state or federal regulators. Both credit unions and banks have checking and savings accounts and make home, vehicle and other types of loans.
The major difference between credit unions and banks is that credit unions have members while banks have stockholders. This is a very important difference. Stockholders at banks are focused on how much their stocks are worth. This is directly related to the perceived value of the bank, as shown by the stock price. The CEO of the bank makes decisions based on how these decisions will affect the quarterly report, not on the long-term significance of those decisions. Everyone has heard about banks going bankrupt or having major lay-offs.
Credit unions, on the other hand, seldom experience that sort of problem. Technically, they are not-for-profit organizations, owned by their members. Not-for-profit does not mean that credit unions do not make a profit (like a charity); it means that profits are used to provide better services and interest rates for their members. Interest rates at credit unions are typically better than the rates offered by banks. Credit unions educate their members in how to achieve wealth and manage their finances responsibly. Credit union management is financially conservative, making decisions based on the best long-term interests of their members.
Today, credit unions offer most of the services banks have, such as online banking and bill paying. Although credit unions are typically smaller than banks, credit union customers are frequently intensely loyal to the credit union.
ARC Federal Credit Union originally started in 1956 in Altoona, PA to serve the financial needs of the Sacred Heart Parish parishioners. In the years since that humble beginning, the role of ARC has expanded. Currently, ARC has members in all of the Catholic parishes in Huntingdon and Blair Counties and in 16 other local groups. ARC is dedicated to customer satisfaction and to providing only high quality financial services, including Credit Cards in Hollidaysburg, PA. They believe in developing positive personal relationships with their members.