You’ve got several choices for financial services like savings accounts, checking accounts, and loans. Both banks and credit unions offer these products, and it’s often hard to spot the difference between these institutions. Let us point a few out....
The Main Difference: OWNERSHIP
Credit unions are not-for-profit and are owned by their members, while banks are profit motivated with a corporate obligation to make money for its shareholders. You might not care, or think it’s a big deal, but that ownership structure affects how these institutions operate.
Member owned: each member has one vote, you have a say in how things are run [whereas at banks, stockholders vote according to the number of shares of stock they own]
Board of Directors: volunteer board of directors, elected by the members, governs a credit union
Not for profit: extra profit, above expenses, goes back to the members and the communities it serves
Member focus: profits paid back in free benefits, fewer fees, better loan rates, higher dividends to checking and savings accounts
Common bond: members work, attend school, worship or live in same community; creating a fair cooperative environment
Socially responsible: an involved community citizen
Willingness to help: staff recognizes members are owners and not a client, they are always treated with respect and have a sincere concern for their financial well-being
Money is safe: The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is the independent federal agency that regulates charters and supervises federal credit unions. Under current law, both FDIC and NCUSIF coverage protect up to $250,000 per depositor per institution.
Only you can decide which institution is right for you. At Peoples Credit Union we are excited to show you first-hand the advantages of a credit union.