Q: What is a credit union?
A: A financial cooperative, owned, and controlled by its members for its members.
Q: Why do Credit Unions exist?
A: To service the financial needs of their community, on a not for profit basis and to retain members savings in their community for the benefit of all members.
Q: Who owns a Credit Union?
A: The members own the credit union.
Q: Who can join a Credit Union?
A: Any person living or working in the common bond is eligible for membership.
Q: What is the common bond?
A: The common bond is that factor which unites all members of a credit union. It defines the area within which the credit union can operate. In Ireland, the most usual common bond are Community bond (where all members live in defined village, town or locality); Occupational Bond (where all members are in the same occupation or work for the same employer); Associational Bond ( where all members are in the same society or association).
Q: Who runs a credit union?
A: A voluntary board of directors, elected by the members at a general meeting runs the credit union.
Q: What can a credit union do for you?
A: Your credit union can help you achieve financial independence through regular savings and fair and affordable access to loans.
Q: What are the Operating Principals of Credit Unions?
A: Credit Unions adopted operating principals at the 1984 Annual General Meeting of the Irish League of Credit Unions. These 10 guidelines are founded on the philosophy of co-operation, equality and self help:
1) Open & Voluntary Membership
2) Democratic Control all members have equal rights
3) Limited Dividends on Equity Capital
4) Return on Savings & Deposits- a fair rate of interest is paid on savings & deposits.
5) Return of Surplus to Members
6) Non Discrimination in Race, Religion, and Politics
7) Service to Members improving services to members
8) Ongoing Education promotion of education of members, officers and employees.
9) Cooperation among cooperatives cooperation with other credit unions at local, national and international level.
10) Social Responsibility advocating social justice and development