Credit Unions vs. Banks: What’s the Difference?  - Trademark FCU
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Credit Unions vs. Banks: What’s the Difference? 

We find that a lot of times, the word “BANK” gets used as a Band-aid–an all-purpose word slapped on to cover a lot of different meanings. The fact is there are some very big differences between a Bank and a Credit Union. Let’s break it down: 


  • For-profit institutions
  • Privately owned or publicly traded
  • Do not require membership
  • Offer many financial products and services
  • Backed by the full faith and credit of the US Government with FDIC insurance

Credit Unions: 

  • Non-profit institutions 
  • Member owned
  • Require membership
  • Offer many financial products and services
  • Backed by the full faith and credit of the US Government with NCUA insurance

What does it all mean? Well banks are a business. Like all good businesses, they’re trying to make a profit, and they have to pay taxes. This usually results in higher fees and lower interest rates for their customers. Banks are owned by stockholders and governed by a Board of Directors who make the decisions for the company. This business-only mindset of a removed Board of Directors can lead to the  prioritization of profits over people.  

On the other hand, Credit Unions are just that–a union! Don’t let the word “union” scare you, we’re not talking labor unions, we’re talking about people being united together for a common purpose. Credit Unions don’t have customers, they have Members. The sole job of a Credit Union is to take financial care of their Members, which leads to a different business model and different business priorities. This means that Credit Unions can usually offer lower fees, higher interest rates, and more personalized Member service. Credit Unions are owned by its Members–and run by a volunteer Board of Directors nominated by the membership–so business decisions are especially aligned with everyone’s interests. 

Are you currently a customer at a bank and interested in becoming a Member with Trademark FCU? Check out this page for more information and an application. Membership is easy! If  you live, work, worship, attend school, or have a business located in Cumberland, Sagadahoc or Kennebec county, we’d like to invite you to join Trademark Federal Credit Union. 

Already one of our fantastic Members and owners? Thank you! It’s our honor to take care of you and your financial needs. If you know someone who would qualify for Membership with Trademark and would benefit from the service of a credit union, tell them about us!