Know the Difference Between Credit Union and Bank

If someone wants to decide where they will bank, they have two options. A credit union or any regular bank. Both terms are financial institutions that offer similar services, such as taking loans, current or savings accounts, etc. Their goal is to save your funds from unnecessary expenses, but their internal ways are different.

Credit union vs Bank

The Difference Between Credit Union and Bank lies in how they operate. In a credit union, its members are called “customers” and the owners. But a bank is like a company, and they want to make strategies to expand its profits for the shareholders.

Credit unions are united in the financial industry, and maximizing profits is not their goal. On the other hand, banks focus more on profits.

To make a profit, banks offer business loans and savings accounts that will increase profits.

Comparison chart between credit unions and banks



A credit union can be called a financial team that provides conventional banking services.

A bank can be called a finance company that is licensed to make loans and accept deposits.


Credit unions are not interested in making a profit.

Banks are always interested in making a profit.


Credit unions are governed by a specific board made up of recent members.

Banks have board directors who are paid.


Credit unions work mainly in local areas.

For the bank, there is no specific area.


The credit union service is for a certain type of group.

Anyone can open a bank account, which means your service isn’t just for a specific group.

What is a credit union?

It has already been mentioned above that a credit union is a financial organization that does not want to make a profit. In theory, it is a united financial institution that has members also known as account holders.

They seem to have a unique connection. For example, your employer appears to be the same. Credit unions function based on specific communities and operated by the equal participation of all stakeholders in decision making.

They have a board and any member of the credit unions can join as a director. Your asset level is not an issue in this case. 

Credit unions want their customers or members to be involved in all decisions they make for the future.

As mentioned above, credit unions are a non-profit organization. That means that whatever the rate of profit, it will go straight back to your “customers” (members) with low interest rates and there will be no profit seeking of any kind.

Their services are very similar to those of banks. Such as: current or savings accounts and mortgages. And there are many notable needs and favorable rates at credit unions.

The many services credit unions provide also include financial education and advice. All of this is possible because credit unions have fewer members than other banks.

As a result, its members are able to focus hard to make positive changes. In addition, credit unions obtain this benefit of not paying any type of income tax since they have a non-profit agenda.

What is the bank?

The bank’s most important agenda is to make profits and maximize them as much as possible. Unlike credit unions, bank customers have no authority over the bank, are not the owners, and are not allowed to participate in any type of decision-making.

Who invests in a bank is the owner. And his only concern is to expand the benefits and satisfy the interested parties. In a bank, all decisions and policies that need to be made are made by investors and stakeholders.

Here the bank’s clients cannot be selected for the board and do not have the right to vote. There is always rivalry between the banks and as a result they cannot work together or share any kind of basic concepts.

Despite many reasons, there are still many benefits that a bank can provide to its customers. For example, it is sometimes possible to find only one credit union branch in a city, while banks have a larger number of branches.

And this number brings a significant change in people’s lives. Whenever a customer needs to withdraw money, he can easily reach the nearest branch of his bank and this opportunity makes his task easier in many ways.

Main Difference Between Credit Union and Bank

  1. In finance, credit unions are known to be an institution and have members who are the owners with the power to make all the decisions. Whereas, banks have shareholders who make all decisions in the interest of expanding their rate of profit.
  2. In credit unions, one has to join first to be considered a legal member and these members can be selected by vote to have a seat on the board. On the other hand, banks do not have such members. They have clients who have no authority.
  3. As mentioned above, credit unions are not-for-profit businesses, which means they don’t have to go through the hassle of paying any form of official income tax. And banks are for-profit institutions, which means they have to pay corporate income taxes, which can mean paying higher fees later.

4. In credit unions, the members have all the authority. That’s why credit unions generally charge lower service fees to members. On the other hand, due to the profit-based system of banks, they charge higher service fees.

Are credit unions as safe as banks?

Yes, if the credit union you plan to invest in has federal insurance. Everyone deposits their money in the bank because security is their first priority.

Credit Union provides protection, just like any other traditional bank. Now credit unions are becoming very popular for personal and business financial services due to security.

Can anyone join a credit union?

Yes, anyone can join a credit union if they fall into the credit union membership field.

You can be a member of a credit union if you have the following things in common:

 1) If your employer sponsors their own credit union
 2) If any of your family members are members of a credit union
 3) They also provide memberships in groups from one place such as a school, unions, cults, or homeowners associations.
 4) If you live, worship, work, or attend school in a specific geographic area.

Do credit unions check your credit?

Yes, credit unions check your credit score and credit report while you apply for membership. But it doesn’t matter if your credit is bad, it won’t determine approval for membership in a credit union.

It only dictates the services you will be eligible for. Your credit score and report will only be used for a loan application, whether or not you can be approved for the loan.

How can I borrow money from a credit union?

Money in union savings or checking accounts is lent to other union members in need at an affordable price.

If you need to borrow money from a credit union, you need to obtain a credit union membership. Under certain circumstances, you must first build up some savings.

Do credit unions pay more than banks?

Credit Union is a community where members pool their money to help each other by lending it. Yes, the credit union pays four to ten times more interest amounts than your local commercial bank.

The credit union pays higher interest rates on deposits from all accounts, such as savings, checking and money market accounts.

How can I join a credit union with bad credit?

Your bad credit will not prevent you from being a member of a credit union if you meet all the requirements for membership. Despite having bad credit, you can still join a credit union if you’re eligible.


If someone wants to decide between these two financial organizations, then they need to consider facts such as their personalized requirements, interests, etc. For many users, a credit union is the right choice, and for many, a bank seems more appropriate.

Both terms have advantages and cost ratios, so to choose wisely people need to know their definitions and differences. This will give us the opportunity to have more confidence and enjoy what these financial institutions offer.

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