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Bank vs. Credit Union

Bank vs. Credit Union

Bank vs. Credit Union: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to managing your finances, you have a variety of options to choose from. Among these options are traditional banks and credit unions.

While both institutions provide financial services, they have significant differences. For instance, banks operate solely for profit and can do business with anyone. Credit unions, on the other hand, are not-for-profit and offer their services only to members.

At Apple, we are proud of our credit union status and want to share what makes us different from big banks. Here are some of the key differences between banks and credit unions and why choosing a credit union may be the better choice for your wallet and your community.

What is a credit union?

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives owned by their members. When you join a credit union like Apple FCU, you become a member and part-owner of the institution.

Credit unions are community-focused and serve specific groups of people, such as employees of a particular company, residents of a certain area or members of an organization.

Here at Apple, you can qualify for membership through your location, school, relationships or work.

Picture of a credit union
Picture of a big bank

What is a bank?

Banks are for-profit financial institutions that are owned by shareholders. They are typically larger and may have a widespread presence across the country or even internationally.

The primary objective for a bank is to generate profits for their shareholders. This means they are not as interested in offering lower interest rates or higher dividends to their customers.

Key Differences Between a Bank and Credit Union

Ownership icon


Banks are owned by shareholders who expect profits, while credit unions are owned by their members and exist to serve their financial needs.

Non-Profit Structure

Not-for-Profit Structure

Credit unions are not-for-profit entities, which means they aim to return excess earnings to members through better rates and reduced fees. Banks aim to maximize profits for their shareholders, which can result in higher fees and less favorable rates for customers.

Community Focus

Credit unions are deeply rooted in their communities and often prioritize local investments and community development. Learn more about how we at Apple FCU show our deep commitment to our community.

Custom Service

Customer Service

Since members are also owners, credit unions typically go the extra mile to ensure their members’ financial success. Banks, with a more corporate structure, may not always prioritize individual customer relationships. Feel free to stop by any of our 21 branches to experience the Apple FCU difference.

Membership Eligibility

To join a local credit union, you typically need to meet specific membership criteria, such as living in a particular area or working for a specific employer. Banks, on the other hand, are open to anyone who wishes to open an account. Learn more about how Apple FCU determines membership qualifications.

Why Join a Local Credit Union

There are so many reasons why choosing a local credit union can benefit you, your wallet and your community.

Person depositing money in a piggy bank

Better Rates

Credit unions often offer higher interest rates on savings accounts, lower interest rates on loans and lower fees on various services compared to banks.

Explore Our Rates
Apple FCU Staff volunteering at a community event

Community Involvement

By choosing a credit union, you support an institution that reinvests in your local community, helping it thrive.

See Our Impact
A dad and his child high-five after depositing money in a piggy bank

Member-Centric Approach

Local credit unions prioritize the well-being of their members and offer more personalized service.

Learn More
A large group of people with arms around each other

Not-for-Profit Mission

Credit unions exist to serve their members, not to generate profits for shareholders. This can result in better financial outcomes for you.

Read More

While both banks and credit unions have their merits, local credit unions like Apple stand out for their member-focused approach, community involvement and not-for-profit mission.

If you value personalized service, competitive rates and being part of a financial institution that truly has your best interests at heart, becoming an Apple FCU member may be the right choice for you.

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