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Banks vs. Credit Unions


 Banks

 Credit Unions

  • Generate profit for stockholders. Make decisions based on what will give stockholders more profit.

  • Income-driven businesses. Offer services to make a profit.
  • People who buy stock in the bank own shares of the business.
  • Serve customers from the general public. Anyone can use a bank.
  • The Board of Directors are paid a salary. A paid staff performs daily operations.
  • Only people who own stock can vote for the Board of Directors. The customers who use the bank don't have a say.
  • Income is returned to the stockholders in the form of higher dividends on their shares of stock.

  • Not-for-profit organizations, make decisions based on what's best for members.
  • Financial cooperatives. Members pool their savings to provide low-cost loans and low-fee services to each other.
  • Each member is an equal owner.
  • Exist solely to serve their members. A person must be within the credit union's field of membership in order to join.
  • Unpaid volunteers from the membership serve on the Board of Directors and guide the credit union. A paid staff performs daily operations.
  • As owners, members elect fellow members to serve on the Board of Directors.
  • Income is returned to members in the form of better savings rates, lower loan rates, and low or no fees for services.