Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions created to serve their Members financial needs. They are owned by their Members and democratically governed by a board of directors. Their mission to serve consumers and not-for-profit, cooperative structure earns credit unions a federal tax exemption. As a result, Members see earnings as higher savings returns, lower loan rates and lower, fewer fees. Credit unions serve a common membership field based on characteristics such as a geographical area, employee groups, or membership in an organization. Becoming a credit union Member is simple and easy.
|Not for profit.||For-profit corporations that offer a full range of financial products and services.|
|Credit unions are democratically governed, and elections are based on a one-member, one-vote philosophy.||Banks are governed by paid shareholders. Voting rights depend on the number of shares owned.|
|Credit unions have members, not shareholders.||Banks have customers and shareholders. They must make money from their customers to please shareholders.|
|Earnings are returned to members through services like free ATMs, better rates and lower fees.||Earnings go to outside stockholders in the form of dividends.|
|Credit unions are local, community-based financial institutions. Members support their local communities when they bank at a credit union.||Banks are big! The average size of a bank is double that of a credit union.|
|More than 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs.||Banks require customers to use their branded ATMs and branches for services or pay fees. Some services are unavailable outside the bank.|
|Deposits insured by NCUA up to $250,000.||Deposits insured by FDIC up to $250,000.|
View this information and more at aSmarterChoice.org.
Speaking up in the political process is a big part of credit union history. There are various ways you can ask your elected officials to support credit unions nationwide, and your voice is important!