America's Credit Unions

Because credit unions are not-for-profit, member-owned financial institutions, they have a special mission to serve their community rather than investors. This means credit union members receive higher savings returns, lower loan rates, and fewer fees.

Credit unions are focused on serving a common field of membership, based around characteristics such as employer or industry, membership in an organization, or the member’s community. Every person in America is eligible to join a credit union, it’s just a matter of choosing the credit union that’s right for them .

Every credit union is owned by its members and is democratically governed by a volunteer board of directors who are also members of the credit union. This not-for-profit, cooperative structure sets credit unions apart from banks and other for-profit financial institutions, and has earned credit unions a federal tax exemption, which is an important part of helping credit unions remain focused on community support and member enrichment.

Comparison

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Not-for-profit

For profit

Credit unions have members, not shareholders

Banks have customers and shareholders, and must make money to please shareholders

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 reflect the communities in which they’re based, with decision being made in the community by community leaders.

Big banks are run by a select few people from corporate headquarters far from many of America’s neighborhoods.

Credit unions are the fabric of their community, and look like their community. 51% of CU CEOs are women

Slow to reflect the face of America, only 5% of bank CEOs are women.

10% of credit unions are minority depository institutions (MDIs).

Only 3% of banks are MDIs.

With a focus on member benefits, earnings are returned to members through services like free ATMs, better rates and lower fees.

Because Banks must make money to please shareholders, earnings go to outside stockholders in the form of dividends.

Because they’re focused on people, not profits, many credit unions are eager to help everyday Americans with unforeseen financial emergencies.

Many emergency bank loans have higher rates and poorer terms, given their focus on profits.

DID YOU KNOW?

Highly Satisfied

  • According to Consumer Reports, Credit Unions are among the highest-rated financial institutions in the nation, with members reporting a strong sense of loyalty to their credit union.
  • Credit unions are of, by, and for their members. As such, they are often able and eager to offer that personal touch to help their members get through unexpected circumstances. Credit unions embody the people helping people
  • That focus on people over profit means that credit unions value helping each member improve their financial education, finding options that fit their members’ circumstances rather than benefitting the credit union’s coffers.
  • With 115 million Americans choosing credit unions, this growing movement helps keep competitive pressure on traditional banking institutions keeps financial services accessible and affordable across the board, delivering to Americans every year.

Your Credit Union – With You at Every Turn.

Just because credit unions are local financial institutions doesn’t mean that they can’t travel with you—most credit unions offer online and mobile banking, with more coming online every month!

Network

What’s more, because credit unions are collaborative rather than competitive, many of their members have access to a nationwide network of 30,000+ surcharge-free ATMS and more that 7,000 service centers!