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How We Are Different

"My Credit Union: It Belongs to Me"

The Credit Union Difference: Ownership!

Credit Unions

Banks

Cooperatives – Credit Unions are owned by the people they serve (members). They are member-owned cooperatives (co-ops). Banks report to an outside group of stockholders
A Voice – The member-owners elect the persons serving on the Credit Union’s Board of Directors by vote at the Annual Membership Meeting Bank’s Board of Directors are elected by the stockholders of the bank and placed on the ballot by officers of the bank.
Volunteers – The Board of Directors of a Credit Union are volunteers (unpaid) and receive no remuneration for serving. More than 120,000 people serve as credit union volunteers in the US. Bank Board of Directors receive a monthly salary for their positions
Not-for-Profit – Credit Unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that operate to provide low-cost financial services to their member-owners. Banks need to earn profit in order to pay their Board of Directors salaries and dividends to their stockholders. 
Democracy – Each member in good standing has equal ownership and one vote, regardless of how much money they have in their account. Bank customers do not have a vote or voice regarding who is on the Board of Directors. Typically they are persons with significant sums of money in their account. 
Save Money – Consumers who use a credit union as the primary financial institution save an average of $204 a year in fees and service charges. Banks are in the business to make a profit. 

Sources: Credit Union National Association, World Council of Credit Unions, the Michigan Credit Union League and the Wall Street Journal.

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