The Credit Union Difference
What is a Credit Union?
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives, owned by the people who save and borrow at the institution. Unlike most financial institutions, credit unions do not issue stock or pay dividends to outside stockholders. Instead, members pull their money together through deposits which allows those deposits to be borrowed against by other members, essentially making them member-owners. Earnings from deposits and loans are returned to members in the form of lower loan rates, higher interest on deposits, and fewer fees.
People qualify for a credit union membership through their employer, organizational affiliations like churches or social groups, or a community-chartered credit union.
Who We Are
Summit Credit Union is a not-for-profit full service financial cooperative established in 1935. We position ourselves as an employee benefit serving over 280 employers with roughly 34,000 members in North Carolina.
Our mission is, “Partnering for your financial success.” Our value statement is, “We provide fast and accurate service by people who care.” We take great pride in our ability to serve our members and to provide the right services for them no matter what stage of life.
Summit Credit Union supports diversity, equity, inclusion, and basic human rights. As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, our goal is to promote financial success without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, marital status or social position. We stand in support of our membership, our staff, and our communities as we come together to push through intolerance, discrimination, and injustice.
The "People Helping People" Philosophy
Summit Credit Union is committed to a "people helping people" philosophy. Our quality of service is evidenced by powerful member testimonials. While our first responsibility is to our members, part of being a cooperative movement means looking beyond our walls to the larger community. This philosophy leads us to work with other credit unions to support charitable and social causes.
We try to aide our members on their path to financial wealth by providing scholarships through our Elizabeth "Sis" Hamilton Scholarship Fund and the Carolina Credit Union Foundation.
The Elizabeth "Sis" Hamilton Scholarship Fund was established to help fund the education of Summit Credit Union members. Through the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation, educational and financial need scholarships are also available, with support of credit unions in North and South Carolina. Scholarships are available to our members each November.
Victory Junction Gang Camp
A major project of the credit unions of North and South Carolina has been the Victory Junction Gang Camp, a camp to enrich the lives of children with chronic or life threatening illnesses by creating camping experiences that are memorable, exciting, fun, empowering, physically safe, and medically sound.
A Commitment to Financial Education and Literacy
Promoting financial literacy has been one of the missions of credit unions since they were established. Edward A. Filene, the father of the American credit union movement in 1908, said, "Credit unions are educational institutions." Our intent is to teach people wise money management skills they can use to make their entire lives better.
We offer free access to financial education & literacy programs through our partnership with BALANCE.
Additionally, Summit Credit Union offers an array of financial education seminars and webinars throughout the year.
Summit Credit Union Governance and Leadership
One thing that makes Summit Credit Union successful is our committed and experienced management. Summit Credit Union is wholly owned, operated, and governed by its members. Our operational scope relies solely on the ideas, concerns, and desires of member owners, as the membership's wellbeing and the credit union's wellbeing are interdependent. The following aspects of Summit Credit Union's by-laws and philosophy ensure member involvement and governance:
- Every member has equal ownership of Summit Credit Union, and thus one vote – regardless of financial or social status.
- Members democratically elect volunteers who serve on Summit Credit Union’s Board of Directors.
- To ensure the transparency and accuracy of credit union operations and finances, Summit Credit Union undergoes a rigorous external audit and an official North Carolina State Examiner's audit each calendar year. Monthly statements of financial soundness are also posted in our branches. A year-end financial statement is available in our Annual Report Summit Credit Union is also subject to federal deposit insurance reviews by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
- Members receive a monthly newsletter which contains credit union news, information concerning financial products and services, and details about upcoming events. The newsletter also encourages member feedback and guidance through a "because we care" feedback section in the newsletter. These submissions help mold management decisions to better serve our membership base.