WASHINGTON (4/2/08)--Consumers looking to generate better savings rates should join a credit union, USA Today Tuesday advised in an article, “Shopping for decent savings rates? You might consider a credit union.” The newspaper encouraged consumers looking to join a credit union to contact the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Credit unions have fields of membership defined by region, geography, or place of employment, the newspaper stated. USA Today also interviewed CUNA CEO Dan Mica, who said credit unions offer lower interest rates than banks on credit cards, car loans and mortgages. Credit unions also often charge fewer ATM withdrawal fees. Credit unions have lower operating costs. They also are member-owned, and they don’t have to earn revenues to please shareholders, Mica told the newspaper. Credit unions also are not subject to federal income tax, the paper said. The article also recognized that some accountholders want to ensure that their deposits are safe. Credit unions are backed by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). If a credit union fails, the NCUA will find another credit union to manage the accounts or liquidate it. When a credit union is liquidated, members generally receive their money in three days, Mica told USA Today. Though many credit unions are federally insured, some are insured privately. Credit unions backed by the federal government have the NCUA logo displayed in their offices, the newspaper stated.