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The Credit Union Difference

What distinguishes a credit union from a commercial bank? After all, they do much the same thing, right? They both extend loans and take in savings deposits. So, where does the difference lie?

  • Credit unions are financial cooperatives owned by their members.
  • Credit unions are run by a volunteer board of directors - democratically elected from and by the credit union's members. The board of directors may then hire any staff necessary to manage the credit union's day-to-day operations.
  • Credit unions serve individuals almost exclusively, although a business may join if over half of its owners are already qualified for membership on an individual basis.
  • Credit unions are run on a not-for-profit basis, returning all earnings beyond overhead costs to their owner/members.
  • Credit unions serve groups of people who share something in common - usually the employer for which they work, the community in which they live, or the religious organizations to which they belong.
  • Credit unions give priority to customers service, making sure each member is treated equitably.