What’s the Difference Between a Bank and a Credit Union?
As we approach International Credit Union Day on October 15th, we thought – what better time to shed light on the age-old question – “What’s the Difference Between a Bank and a Credit Union?”
Simply put, credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members. Like banks, credit unions accept deposits, offer mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards, and provide a wide array of other financial services. While it’s good to know how credit unions and banks are similar in terms of their service offerings, the more important criteria for choosing one over the other is often found by looking at our core principles and values:
Credit unions are owned by members. Since our members are also owners, we can offer better rates, lower fees, no-stress services, and outstanding support. US Eagle offers many of the same products, services and technology as banks and works hard to reduce the stress associated with managing one’s finances by offering services such as online phone call / branch appointment scheduling, Online and Mobile Banking, and more.
Credit unions are not-for-profit. Credit unions represent Main Street, not Wall Street. Decisions are made locally and on an individual basis. Instead of turning profits, credit unions return the money they make to their member-owners in the form of higher rates on savings, lower rates on loans, reduced fees and improved services.
Credit unions are democratic. That means every member owns a share of the credit union, with an equal say in how the credit union is run. The direction of the credit union is overseen by a local volunteer board of directors who are motivated by service, not bonuses. Why is this important? Because it means our board members are driven by needs in our community, not lining their own pockets.
Open and voluntary membership. Membership requirements are pretty broad, making eligibility at a credit union a possibility for almost anyone. You are eligible for membership at US Eagle if you…
- Are a U.S. Government employee who works in or is supervised from Bernalillo, Valencia, or Socorro County
- Live, work, worship, or attend school in the either Sandoval or San Juan County
- A family member or roommate of an existing U.S. Eagle Federal Credit Union member
- An employee or member of one of our more than 400 partner companies
Additionally, credit unions are voluntary, cooperative organizations, offering services to people willing to accept the responsibilities and benefits of membership, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination. All are welcome at a credit union.
Credit unions are committed to education and training. Whether working hand-in-hand with members at branches or teaching financial literacy to kids and teens, US Eagle strives to tackle financial topics to help our members live well.
Credit unions are cooperative. With more than 5,000 credit unions across the globe and access to tens of thousands of ATMs, credit unions are increasingly convenient on a national scale.
Credit unions are socially responsible. Concern for the community is a credit union value. Support from loyal members has helped to build a strong foundation, inspiring US Eagle to give back to causes that lend a helping hand, create leaders and celebrate the community.
Now more than ever, it’s important credit unions work together to make a positive and meaningful impact. This year's global health crisis has been trying for many communities around the world, but we think credit unions have stayed true to their cooperative principles and stepped up during this time of economic uncertainty. We invite you to visit our social media channels and celebrate with us now and the days leading up to International Credit Union Day. This year's theme, “Inspiring hope for a global community” reflects how credit unions contribute to a brighter future by providing financial empowerment to people all over the world through financial services, education, and support.