Unless you live off the grid, you need to pay people, save money, deposit your pay, and get loans. You may have had a joint account at a bank or credit union with your parents in your youth, but when you go to college, you need your own account to start to build your financial future. The two main types of companies that provide these services are banks and credit unions. Both are highly regulated, keeping your money safe but that is where the similarities end.
The motivations are completely different. Banks aren’t “bad” per se. But their motivation—their very reason for being—is so different from that of a credit union. Banks exist to make a profit from their customers. At the end of the day, they need to return money to their owners or shareholders. Credit unions are the opposite. Members are the owners—so everything a credit union does is for its members. Members put their savings into the credit union, where they are lent to other members, lifting all. Credit unions offer good rates and low fees, but even more importantly, they care for each and every member, and go above and beyond to help them. They care for members with plenty of money and they care even more for members who are struggling. Your credit union wants you to succeed, no matter who you are – the credit union difference.