The Credit Union Difference

At first glance, there may not seem to be much difference between credit unions and banks. They both offer similar products and services. However, there are some critical factors that set the two apart.

  Credit Unions Banks
Ownership Owned by members Owned by stockholders
Business Model Not-for-profit For profit
Credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives dedicated to improving members' lives. In fact, they are the only democratically-controlled financial institutions in the United States. You and other members elect a volunteer board of directors to oversee the credit union. The President/CEO reports to this board. Bank directors, however, are paid and are legally bound to make decisions that benefit stockholders. Banks make money for stockholders, not for customers.

Because credit unions aren't focused on making a profit, we're able to offer lower rates on loans and higher earnings on savings. Interest rates on credit cards and auto loans average one- to one-half percentage points lower than bank rates. Money market, savings and interest checking accounts provide higher rates—giving back more to members.

Additionally, credit unions educate members about money matters. We provide resources such as newsletters, educational brochures and seminars to help you make informed financial decisions.

In short, you and other members are the focus of credit unions. You have a say in how we do business. You can let us know how we're doing and what services you want by using Member Voice or calling us toll-free at 1-800-748-4302.

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