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The Credit Union Difference 

Credit unions differ significantly from banks in ownership, philosophy, and business practices. We want you to know the difference. 

Who owns a credit union?

Who owns a bank?

In short, you, our members own the credit union. Each person who deposits money in a credit union becomes a member & part owner.

Your membership is considered your share of the credit union.

Banks are owned by small groups of investors who expect a certain return on their investments.

Customers of banks have no voice in how the bank is operated.

Who controls a credit union?

Who controls a bank?

Credit unions are democratically controlled, and operate under a one-member, one-vote system.

They are run by a volunteer board of directors elected by and from the membership.

Bank customers do not own a financial interest in the bank.

Bank stockholders hold influence based on the total value of their stocks.

Bank boards are generally compensated for their service.

Who profits?

Who profits?

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives.

Surplus revenue over expenses and reserves are returned to members in the form of higher dividends, lower loan rates and low-cost services.

For example, according to the Indiana Credit Union League, Indiana’s 2.2 million credit union members benefit by close to $150 million annually through better rates and lower fees compared to if the only choice available to consumers was for-profit financial institutions.

The profits of a bank, minus operating expenses, are divided among the stockholders of the bank.

How is my money protected?

How is my money protected?

Credit Unions are insured by the federal government.

Federally chartered and many state-chartered credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), which is managed by the National Credit Union Administration.

As a federal deposit insurance fund, the NCUSIF is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. The NCUSIF is the only deposit insurance fund that operates on a pay-as-you-go system, which prevents the accumulation of annual losses. The NCUSIF has never had to use taxpayers' money.

Banks are insured by the federal government.

Their insurance fund is called the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Part of this fund, which covers savings and loans, had to be bailed out by using billions of dollars of taxpayers' money.

The FDIC does not operate on a pay-as-you-go system.

Why Choose INOVA?

It's easy to join INOVA, and you will love all the benefits of being a member!

  • We are a leader in the credit union industry
  • We offer direct deposit for you and your employees
  • Automated Clearing House (ACH) direct deposit origination software and training
  • Savings and checking accounts
  • Payroll deduction
  • Debit cards
  • Mortgages
  • Online banking
  • Visa® cards
  • New and used vehicle loans

Your company may already be a member of INOVA — search our member company list to find out.

Member Benefits

We offer a wide range of benefits — from competitive rates to special, members-only rewards. 

How to Join

When you open an account, you become an owner of the credit union by buying a share. The ownership share gives you a voice and a vote in how the credit union operates.

INOVA employees help our members discover high-quality financial services by providing choices, convenience, and financial information you can trust.

How can you join INOVA?

You may be eligible for membership through an immediate family member.

 Credit Union membership is a wonderful benefit for you and your entire family!

You may be eligible to join if someone in your immediate family is a member, or someone in your household is a member.

  • Immediate family” is defined as spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, or grandchild. This includes stepparents, stepchildren, stepsiblings, and adoptive relationships.
  • Household” is defined as those living in your same residence, maintaining a single economic unit.

You may be eligible for membership through your employer or other organization. 

Credit Union membership may also be available through your employer. This no-cost employee benefit gives you and your organization all the benefits available through our credit union. Established in 1942, INOVA was originally chartered to serve the employees of Miles Laboratories. Today, INOVA serves the employees of over 1,800 companies and organizations.

You may join if you are an employee or member of one of our Select Employer Groups (SEGs). If your employer is not already a member of INOVA, encourage your company to join!

If you're applying for membership by where you live, work, worship, or attend school, click here to validate that your address qualifies.

For more information about becoming a member, call (800) 645-3732 or (574) 294-6553.

Join INOVA Today