The Credit Union Difference
Better than your Bank
What is a Credit Union? How Does it Differ From a Bank? Credit unions and banks exist to provide financial services. Their similarities end there and the differences that make credit unions unique begin to become more evident.
|Credit unions have members, not customers. Everyone with an account has a share of ownership in the credit union. Therefore, you are actually an owner of your credit union and not just another account number.||Banks have shareholders, usually a group of investors. Banks exist to make a profit for their shareholders, not their customers.|
|Credit unions are democracies. They are run by a volunteer board of directors elected from the membership. Every member has a vote in how his or her credit union is operated.||Banks are run by their investors, who have the sole voice in how things are done.|
|Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations. After expenses are paid and reserves set aside, all money surpluses are returned to the members in the form of higher dividends and lower loan interest rates.||At banks, only investors see a share of the profits.|
|Credit unions serve only certain groups of members, like those working for a particular employer or living in the same neighborhood. This specialization allows credit unions to focus on the needs of a certain special group of people.||Anyone may open an account at any bank. Customers sometimes become lost in the shuffle or "just another number."|