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Words to Know

A little knowledge can go a long way! Use this glossary of credit union and financial terms to help you.

Account – a record of financial transactions for a person at a credit union; a transaction is something that’s recorded in a book of accounts; one type of transaction is the deposit—putting money into your account

Allowance - (noun) a sum regularly provided for personal or household expenses

Board of Directors - an organized group of administrators (people who make decisions about how the credit union should be run)

Bounced Check – a check which a credit union returns because it is not payable due to insufficient (too few) funds; see “Not Sufficient Funds”

Budget -  a plan for the coordination of income and expenses; (verb) to plan or provide for the use of in detail-to plan how to save and spend your money

Checking Account – an account which allows the holder to write checks against deposited funds

Check or Share Draft – a written order directing a credit union to pay an exact amount of money to a certain person

Check Register – an informal record of all deposits to and withdrawals from a checking account. A checkbook register is used to perform bank reconciliation

Cooperative - an enterprise or organization owned by and operated for the benefit of the people using its services (If you guessed that this word comes from the idea of "cooperation" which means being willing and able to work together, you are correct!)

Credit - the balance in a person's favor in an account or an amount or sum placed at a person's disposal by a bank or time given for payment for goods or services sold on trust

Credit Card - a card authorizing purchases on credit

Credit Union - a cooperative association that makes small loans to its members at low interest rates

Debit - a charge against a credit union deposit account

Debit Card - a card like a credit card by which money may be withdrawn or the cost of purchases paid directly from the holder's credit union account without the payment of interest

Debt - something, usually money, that is owed

Deposit - something placed for safekeeping, such as money placed in a credit union;  to place especially for safekeeping or as a pledge, for example, to put in a credit union

Endorse – to sign your name on the back of a check in order to get the cash amount that’s written on the front of the check

Expense - something paid—usually money—to get a benefit or bring about a result; a financial burden

Field of Membership - the group of people (members) who are allowed to join a certain credit union

Financial Institution - any organization that allows people to deposit, withdraw, and borrow money

Income - the amount of such gain received in a period of time

Interest - a charge for borrowed money, generally a percentage of the amount borrowed

Loan - money lent at interest

Member - one of the individuals composing a group, especially a person who belongs to a credit union

Nonprofit - not conducted or maintained for the purpose of making a profit

Not Sufficient Funds (NSF) – not enough money in the checking account to cash the check; a check cannot be cashed if there are not sufficient funds in the account.

Overdraw – to draw checks on a credit union account for more than the balance

Profit -  the excess of returns over expenditure in a transaction or series of transactions; especially the excess of the selling price of goods over their cost

Save - to put aside as a store or reserve

Share - a given amount of money a person deposits with a credit union to become a member.

Share Draft - a payment mechanism that enables credit union members to withdraw funds or pay bills from their credit union share account; similar to a check.

Shareholder - a person who owns a share in property

Spend - to use up or pay out

Teller - a member of a credit union's staff concerned with the direct handling of money received or paid out

Vault - a room or compartment for the safekeeping of valuables

Withdraw - to remove (take out) money from a place of deposit

Withdrawal - removal from a place of deposit or investment   

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