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What is a Credit Union?

A credit union is a cooperative financial institution, owned and controlled by the people who use its services. These people are members. Credit unions serve groups that share something in common, such as where they work or live. Credit unions are not-for-profit, and exist to provide a safe, convenient place for members to save money and to get loans at reasonable rates.

Credit unions, like other financial institutions, are closely regulated. The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) regulates state-chartered credit unions. DIFS is dedicated to maintaining the public confidence in Michigan state-chartered credit unions, and to ensuring Michigan state-chartered credit unions provide safe, sound and reliable financial services to their members.  Under the authority of the Michigan Credit Union Act (2003 PA 215) DIFS oversees Michigan chartered credit unions through required on-site examinations, regular off-site evaluations of financial performance information and other required reporting by the credit unions. 

Michigan was the first state credit union examination program accredited by the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS). NASCUS is a professional regulators association, representing state governmental agencies that charter, regulate and examine the nation's state-chartered credit unions. NASCUS is the only organization dedicated to the promotion of the state credit union charter and the autonomy of state credit union regulatory agencies

Michigan is also the first state to coordinate the regulatory efforts of the financial institutions, insurance, and securities industries under the federal Financial Services Reform Act of 1999.