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Credit Unions vs. Banks

​On the surface, Credit Unions and Banks may seem very similar… both offer similar financial services like checking and saving accounts, credit and debit cards, auto loans, and mortgages; however, if you look a little deeper, you’ll begin to see the many differences.

"Unlike banks, credit unions return their earning to their members..."

The most important distinction of credit unions vs. banks

  • A credit union is a not-for-profit financial institution that is owned by its members and works to serve their best interests.
  • A bank is a for-profit institution that is owned by its shareholders and exists to serve their best interests.

This distinction fosters a “People Helping People” philosophy amongst credit unions that further distinguishes them from banks, and benefits members in many ways.


Feature Credit Union Bank
Fees & Rates
  • Fewer fees
  • Lower loan & credit card interest rates
  • Higher interest rates
  • More fees
  • Members are part owners of the credit union and share equal voting rights
  • Shareholders are part owners of a bank and have voting rights equal to the amount of shares they own.
  • Members are top priority
  • Higher level of member service
  • Poor customer satisfaction
  • Impersonal. Customers are treated like a number
  • Deposits are NCUA Insured
  • Deposits are FDIC Insured
  • Not for profit. Serves the best interest of members and community
  • For profit. Serves the best interests of stockholders and board members
Community Involvement
  • Active in the local community
  • Funds many charity events and financial education classes
  • Not community oriented
  • Lack of transparency and accountability to the community