International Credit Union Day is on the third Thursday of every October and celebrates the spirit of the global credit union movement.

It also aims to raise awareness about the work that credit unions and other financial cooperatives are doing around the world.

This year, International Credit Union Day falls on Oct. 18.

“International Credit Union Day gives us another opportunity to really reflect on our mission of improving our members’ and prospective members’ lives through our ‘Life Matters’ commitment, as well as how important and valuable our members are to us,” said Anthony Alcala, service manager, HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union Ala Moana branch.

What separates a credit union from a typical bank?

“At a credit union, you’re more than a customer. You actually become a part owner by joining. That’s because credit unions are owned and controlled by its members,” Alcala said. “Another major difference is that credit unions are not-for-profit. The profits generated from business are returned back to members in the form of reduced fees, higher savings rates, and lower loan rates, and in the spirit of its cooperative structure, this creates a cycle of mutual assistance. One member’s savings can be used to help another with their loan needs.”

Alcala says HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union focuses not only on financial services, but education.

“Financial wellness is an ever-evolving thing and what might be a sufficient level of financial education, capability, and literacy for one member might not be what fits another’s unique needs. That’s why we’re ready and able to work with our members to find a strategy that works for them,” Alcala said.

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