Credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives that provide savings, credit and other financial services to their members. Credit union membership is based on a common bond, a linkage shared by savers and borrowers who belong to a specific community, organization, religion or place of employment. Credit unions pool their members' savings deposits and shares to finance their own loan portfolios rather than rely on outside capital. Earnings are returned to members through services like free ATMs, better rates, and lower fees. Just like banks, credit union accounts are also insured up to $250,000, but by the NCUA.