Similar Products, Very Different Purposes
While at first glance the types of loans and savings account options banks and credit unions offer appear quite similar, taking a closer look quickly shines a light on several key differences between these two common types of financial institutions.
Member-Owned & Not for Profit
Credit unions not-for-profit financial cooperatives, which means they are owned by their members, not stockholders like a for-profit bank. Given this not-for-profit, but for people distinction, thousands of local credit unions across the country share a common “People Helping People” philosophy that puts members before profits in every decision that’s made.
As a member, you get to vote for your credit union’s Board of Directors. At ECU, these directors are unpaid volunteers who are also members – just like you! Each Credit Union member gets one equal vote, regardless of their account balance. In for-profit organizations, stockholders typically vote based on their number of shares.
Better Rates, Lower Fees
Whether you are a borrower, a saver, or a combination of both, as a credit union member you benefit directly from our cooperative’s not-for-profit business model through better rates and lower fees. Over the years, these savings really add up. The chart below summarizes how credit unions across the U.S. benefit members. The power of cooperation is pretty awesome!
Beyond the impressive financial benefits of being a credit union member, many find our service to be one of the biggest differences. After all, you’re not just a customer here, you’re a member-owner. That means we work for YOU and constantly look for ways to improve your experience. ECU was founded in 1935 and has been excelling in SERVICE, CARE, and FINANCIAL PROTECTION for our members and their families ever since.
Many credit unions in the U.S. were born out of the Great Depression. Small groups of neighbors pooled their resources to provide credit to those who couldn’t find financing otherwise. When members keep their money local, it’s invested back into building stronger communities through affordable loans. At ECU, our mission today remains the same: to serve our members by providing financial services throughout all the stages of their lives.
Learn More. Live More.®
Promoting financial literacy is another important way credit unions support their members and build stronger communities. At ECU, our financial education focus is to connect with our community, empowering and inspiring others to make wise financial decisions and beneficial life choices. We have a team of dedicated financial educators and a full library of teacher resources for elementary, middle and high school students. Explore the many financial education resources we offer here.
If you haven’t experienced the credit union difference yet, or if you have friends or family members who could benefit, we invite you to share the credit union difference with them.
Open a new membership or refer a friend or family member online today. You may also call our offices, and we’ll be happy to help.