Financial services are essential for growing the economy and helping consumers and businesses reach their goals. But not all financial institutions have the same interests.
Banks are for-profit institutions charged with delivering a return to investors. Credit unions, on the other hand, are organized as not-for-profit financial cooperatives.
Credit unions are member-owned, so when they earn more than they need to operate, they reinvest it in its members and communities. Returns may take the form of lower fees and loan rates, higher savings rates, and charitable and volunteer support.
Credit unions operate under cooperative principles and expand their membership bases to provide more benefits to their communities.
The first credit unions were chartered in the early 1900s to serve populations that were overlooked by traditional financial services providers.
Ever since, workers, small businesses, and members of underserved groups have turned to credit unions to gain better access to financial resources.