Look past bricks and mortar to see—
the credit union difference.
Credit unions are not “just like banks.” Bricks and mortar don’t distinguish institutions, their purpose and actions do. While credit unions and banks offer a full range of financial products, structurally they are completely different. Luckily, that difference translates into a wealth of benefits to credit union members and their communities.
Governance— Credit unions are locally owned by the members who do business with them, not stockholders. Credit union members elect the board of directors from among the membership. A credit union board looks out for members’ best interests, not just maximizing the bottom line.
Purpose— Not-for-profit credit unions exist solely to meet the financial needs of their member owners. Because they have no stockholders expecting dividends, earnings are invested in members in the form of more competitive rates of return on accounts, lower interest on loans, lower fees and improved services. A credit union’s primary concern is its members’ success.
Member Benefits— Money made by a credit union is invested in members. Whether through competitive product pricing – which helps working people stretch their money farther – or by offering services members may not be able to get somewhere else. Credit unions treat all members equally regardless of how much they have on deposit. They also make loans considered “too small” for profit-driven institutions. Finally, credit unions provide financial counseling, educational seminars and more opportunities that for-profit institutions often see as a drain on resources better put toward profit making.
Values— Credit union values aren’t in profits; they’re in people. And that translates to significant contributions within the communities we serve. For example, credit unions lead the nation when it comes to branches operating inside schools— a way for young people to learn to use financial products (such as debit cards) responsibly, or by providing credit union employees to teach a class on handling money, or by providing subscriptions of Brass magazine for high school students and purchasing local newspapers for our young students to read and discuss.
For more information about credit unions and what we’re doing to make a difference, visit: