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Credit Union FAQ for Consumers
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a bank and a credit union in Michigan?
Both banks and credit unions are depository institutions and offer consumers many of the same services.
A credit union is a "not for profit" cooperative organization owned by its member depositors and is established solely for the benefit of its members. A Michigan state-chartered credit union operates under the authority of and receives its powers from the Michigan Credit Union Act. There are also federally-chartered credit unions that operate under the authority of the Federal Credit Union Act and are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Federal insurance is required for any credit union doing business in the State of Michigan.
A bank is a "for profit" corporation owned by its stockholders and is established to provide financial services to the general public. Bank deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). State-chartered banks operate under the authority of and receive powers from the Michigan Banking Code.
Is there any difference between a state-chartered and a federally-chartered credit union?
A credit union can be chartered, or licensed, with state regulatory agencies or with the federal government. This determines what regulations a credit union will operate under and who its primary regulator will be. The difference between a federal and state charter has very little impact on consumers. Our credit union locator is a directory of Michigan state-chartered credit unions.
I have a complaint about my credit union. Who should I contact?
To file a complaint against a Michigan state-chartered credit union, please complete the online complaint form at www.michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints. If you have any questions or would like to request a copy of the complaint form, please contact us toll-free at 877-999-6442.
Complaints regarding federally-chartered credit unions should be directed to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). The NCUA’s Consumer Assistance phone number is 800-755-1030. The NCUA also maintains an anonymous fraud hotline at 800-827-9650.
Complaints against credit unions chartered in other states should be discussed with that state's financial institution’s regulator. The regulator can usually be found on the state's website or you can find a list of state regulators on the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) website at NASCUS.
If you have questions regarding how your credit union is chartered, please contact us toll-free at 877-999-6442 and we would be happy to assist you.
What is the maximum interest rate I can be charged by the bank or credit union issuing my credit card?
Generally, the rate that may be charged is the rate permitted in the financial institution's home state. This is determined by the state's statutory code(s). A Michigan state-chartered depository institution may charge whatever interest rate the institution and the customer agree to.
How can I organize a credit union in the State of Michigan?
There are two authorities that charter credit unions in Michigan. They are the Department of Insurance and Financial Services, Office of Credit Unions (OCU), in Lansing, Michigan, and the National Credit Union Administration in Alexandria, Virginia. The OCU Corporate Review has prepared a credit union organization package. The organization package can also be mailed to an interested party upon request. In addition, the Michigan Credit Union League may be a helpful resource for information.
The telephone numbers for each of the organizations are:
OCU Corporate Review
National Credit Union Administration
Michigan Credit Union League