More than 150 years ago, credit unions were formed to help members fight high loan rates. Today, credit unions have developed into full service, member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives. By design, credit unions are able to provide an array of financial products and services at a reasonable cost with a primary focus on quality member service.
While credit unions resemble other financial institutions in many ways, there are 3 important characteristics that distinguish them from other banks and financial institutions! As a Credit Union, Highmark is:
- Member Owned
We are owned by our members. Becoming a member requires a minimum deposit in a share savings account. Each member owns one share of the credit union regardless of how many accounts he/she has or how much is on deposit.Governed by Volunteer Leadership
The Board of Directors participates in decisions that benefit our membership overall. The Board is elected by the members, and when elected, serves in a volunteer capacity, without pay.Focused on Improving the Financial Health of its members.
We counsel, guide and bring forth products and services that promote healthy financial practices and improve the lives of its members.
- A Financial Cooperative
- Our members allow their savings to be pooled, so that Highmark can make loans and provide other financial services to all of our members.
- A Not for Profit Organization
Earnings are returned, after operating expenses are deducted, to our members in the form of higher dividends on their deposits, lower loan rates, and additional financial products and services.
Because Highmark is a not for profit, you may be wondering how we make money. Here's how it works: As a credit union, Highmark is both a borrower and a lender. We borrow money from our membership via their deposits (through their savings). Then Highmark pays the membership for their deposits, in the form of dividends. Highmark earns money by investing the membership's deposits, generally in U.S. government-backed investments, and by making loans to other members.