What is the credit union difference?The philosophy of "people helping people" sets credit unions apart from other for-profit financial institutions. Credit unions are dynamic full-service financial institutions with sophisticated delivery systems - convenient branches, no-surcharge ATMs, member contact centers and electronic delivery such as Online Banking. They easily compare to banks in the types of products and services they offer, but differ drastically in how they deliver these products and services. Credit union members receive the outstanding value and service they deserve.
While credit unions and banks offer similar products and services such as checking accounts, credit cards, and mortgage loans, there are still many differences among the two types of financial institutions.
- Iowa credit unions, on the average, lend a higher portion of their deposits compared to for-profit financial institutions.
- As members of the local community, credit unions’ volunteer boards of directors are able to ensure that the best interests of their communities are served.
- Credit unions are only able to loan money to their members — people who share a common bond within the credit union’s field of membership. Credit unions’ high loan-to-deposit ratios are a good indication of how involved they are within their communities.
- Iowa’s state-chartered credit unions are assessed a moneys and credits tax based on reserves. Additionally, state-chartered credit unions pay sales, property and employer-related taxes.
- Federally-chartered credit unions pay property and employer-related taxes.
- Congress and the Iowa Legislature tax credit unions differently than banks because credit unions are not-for-profit, member-owned cooperatives whose only mission is to serve members.
- If banks truly believe credit unions are advantaged, we welcome them to join the credit union community. However, banks would have to become not-for-profit, require their boards of directors to be volunteers and give each customer one vote in policy decisions — regardless of how much money the individual has on deposit.
All information provided through this site is intended to be accurate. However, there may be inaccuracies from time to time which we will make every attempt to correct immediately.