Credit Unions: What’s the Difference?

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According to Wikipedia, early forms of banking have been around since 2000BC! The more traditional banking systems that we know today have their roots in the Renaissance and grew from there. Credit unions haven’t been around quite as long; the first credit union in the US was established in 1909. Since then, credit unions have grown to provide the same financial services as banks. But if their products are so similar, how do credit unions stand out in the financial services industry? Time for some real talk…

More Than A Customer

There’s a reason that you “join” a credit union versus simply opening a bank account. Your savings account literally makes you a part-owner of your credit union. So when we call you a “member” rather than a “customer”, it’s not just feel-good marketing speak. Here’s why that matters – at a traditional bank, account holders are just customers; they don’t have a say in how the bank operates or what they do with the profits the bank makes. Those decisions are up to the shareholders, the actual owners of the bank. With a credit union, the member is both customer and shareholder. As a member-owner, you have a say in the direction of the credit union; profits become lower rates on loans and higher returns on savings, as well as other benefits that increase the value of your credit union membership.

Personal Service That Grows With You

Credit unions are known for providing excellent service. The staff at your local credit union branch will take the time to get to know you and your growing financial needs. From your first savings and checking accounts to your first car loan, your relationship with your credit union will be here for you at every life stage, helping you achieve your goals.


There’s a longstanding rumor that credit unions can’t match the convenience of the “big banks”, but it’s just not true anymore. Many credit unions (including Call Federal) are quite capable of providing services that rival any of their financial counterparts. From nationwide ATM networks to online and mobile banking platforms, the checking and savings account from your local credit union can go wherever you go, all day, everyday.

Credit unions have grown considerably over the years, adding the products, services, and benefits that today’s consumers expect from a financial institution. But what hasn’t changed is the fundamental difference between credit unions and other financial institutions –  the mission behind the services we provide. Credit unions continue to stand out above the rest by focusing on the wellbeing and overall financial health of our members, while also being passionate about giving back to their local communities.

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