Glossary of Credit Union Terms

The names of some financial products and services at credit unions may not be familiar to you. Here are a few that are good to know.

Common Bond
A unifying factor or characteristic among people that links them while distinguishing them from others. The Common Bond may be that they work at the same company or live or worship in the same community.

Credit Union (CU)
Member-owned, not for profit financial cooperative offering financial products and services and run by a volunteer board of directors

Interest paid to members on shares, as determined by the credit union's volunteer board of directors.

Field of Membership (FOM)
The group or groups of people identified in the credit union's charter that legally defines who may become a member of the credit union.

At the heart of the credit union system, members are the reason credit unions exist. This person holds at least one credit union share and has the right to vote for the board of directors (has to be 16 years old to vote).

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
An independent agency of the federal government responsible for chartering, insuring, supervising and examining federal credit unions.

National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF)
Administrated by NCUA, this fund insures member's accounts of up to $250,000 in all federal and state credit unions in North Carolina.

Any given amount of money a person deposits with a credit union to become a member. It confers ownership rights and pays dividends.

Share Drafts
The credit union equivalent to a checking account. You can use share drafts like ordinary checks, but you’ll earn interest on the balance. You can make deposits to your share draft account through payroll deduction, direct deposit or in person. There is NO monthly service charge and no minimum balance.

Equal Opportunity Employer — Equal Housing Lender — NCUA insured up to $250,000