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Here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Community Plus Federal Credit Union

Q. Who is eligible to join this credit union?

A. Anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Champaign, Ford, or Piatt County may join.

Don’t forget, the immediate family of members is also eligible to join. Also, once a member, always a member.

To join the credit union just come by our office, call us at (217) 893-8201 or e-mail us. We will get you an application.

Q. How much does it cost to join?

A. There are no fees for membership. The minimum deposit is $15 in a share account. This establishes ownership in the credit union and makes one eligible for all the other benefits and services available.

Q. What is the difference between a credit union and a bank?

A. Credit unions are not for profit organizations whose mission is helping members achieve financial independence. They are owned by the members that have money on deposit with the credit union. Banks are owned by investors who look for a profit. While they offer many of the same services as credit unions, their mission is to earn a return on their owner’s investments.

Another important difference is that credit unions are controlled by their members through the election of a board of directors. In a bank only the stockholders have a voice in the election of the board of directors. Bank customers have no voice in the leadership of their institution. The directors of credit unions are also volunteers. In fact, it is illegal for them to receive compensation for their work as a director. This means they make decisions based upon the membership’s best interests, not just a few stockholders.

Because of these differences in philosophy and leadership credit unions are able to typically offer services with lower fees and better rates than banks. This may explain why year after year the banker’s own trade publication, American Banker rates credit unions number one in customer satisfaction.

Q. How did Community Plus Federal Credit Union get started?

A. On August 9, 1943 twelve civil service employees of Chanute Field met in the Civilian Personnel Office. They selected 9 of those present to the newly formed Board of Directors. By the end of the next month there were 47 members and assets totaled $580! At the end of World War II assets were up to $3,290. Peace did not bring an end to the air base. During the Cold War, Korea, and Vietnam War civilian employment remained high at Chanute. The credit union grew. In the early 1980’s an early base closure scare prompted the members to open up the credit union to the surrounding area and it became Rantoul-Chanute Community Credit Union. To emphasize its service to a larger area the name was changed to Credit Union Plus. However, many people did not realize that we were a community credit union. When we converted to a federal charter it was necessary to have the words "Federal Credit Union" at the end of our name, so we took the best of the last two names and became Community Plus Federal Credit Union.