How are credit unions different?

Credit unions make a significant difference in the lives of ordinary people, particularly those of modest means. More than 4.2 million New Yorkers belong to credit unions, and the “people helping people” philosophy enables them to achieve economic self-sufficiency and gain financial independence.

By joining credit unions, families from all backgrounds are able to achieve their goals of owning a home, buying a car, creating a savings nest egg or sending their children to college. And because credit unions are not-for-profit, the money members place in their credit unions is returned to them, not shareholders.

Clearly, credit unions fill a unique role in the financial services marketplace. They increase consumer choice, drive down costs and provide much-needed services to economically diverse populations. This focus on serving members is another fundamental difference between not-for-profit credit unions and for-profit financial institutions.

The following resources provide a deeper look at what makes credit unions so unique.