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Credit Union vs. Bank

Credit Unions and Banks – What's the Difference?

Both credit unions and banks offer similar products and services like checking and savings accounts, loans and mortgages. Below is an at-a-glance comparison to give you a better idea how they differ.

Banks Credit Unions
Are for-profit organizations. Are not-for-profit organizations.
Return profits to a small group of stockholders. Return profits to all members in the form of lower loan rates, higher savings rates and free or low-cost services.
Serve anyone in the general public. Serve individuals within a "field of membership" made up of people who share a common bond (e.g., employer, geographic area, association).
Are for-profit organizations who report results to third-party stockholders. Are not-for-profit, membership owned organizations. Each credit union member has equal ownership and one vote – regardless of how much money a member has with the credit union.
Are federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Are federally insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).
Have a paid board of directors who represent the owners; customers do not have voting privileges. Elect a volunteer board of directors from the credit union membership to represent their interests.