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The Credit Union Difference
Credit Unions and Banks are similar in many ways. Both offer checking and savings accounts, credit cards, home loans and auto loans. Both also offer similar services like online and mobile banking, digital wallet options, ATM networks, and most offer online tools to help manage your money. However, the similarities end when you start to look at how both are structured and managed.
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Membership Means Something
Credit Unions are not-for-profit financial institutions, which means profits go back to the Members of the Credit Union in the form of new services, better rates, and lower fees. When you open an account, you have a share of ownership in the Credit Union, and your voice matters.
Board of Directors
Credit Unions are managed by a group of democratically elected Members who make up the Board of Directors. Their job is to guarantee the Credit Union always operates in the best interest of their Members. In contrast, a publicly-held bank may have a Board of Directors who place a higher value on providing returns for shareholders over the needs of their customers.
Giving back to the community is a common thread in the financial industry. Banks and Credit Unions alike donate to worthy causes, but if you care about where your money goes, it may be worthwhile to look closer at their charitable contributions. Credit Unions look to their own communities first when it comes to giving back, however a larger financial institution may spread their generosity over a bigger regional or national area. Credit Unions are usually more approachable too, making it easier for smaller organizations to request sponsorships and donations.