The Credit Union Difference

As a not-for-profit organization, SunState Federal Credit Union operates with a different focus than a bank. Any profits SunState earns are returned to the members who are the owners of the credit union in the form of improved services, fewer fees, lower interest rates on loans and higher dividends. The chart below makes a comparison between credit unions and banks.

Here are the differences:

Credit Unions


Not for profit, not for charity, but for service. Without "profit motive", make decisions based on what's best for members. Generate profit for stockholders. Often make decisions based on what will give stockholders more profit.
Financial cooperatives. Members pool their savings to provide low-cost loans and low-fee services to each other. Commercial businesses. Offer services to make a profit.
Each and every member is an equal owner. People who buy stock in the bank own shares of the business.
Exist solely to serve their members. A person must be within the credit union's field of membership, as defined by their charter/bylaws, in order to join. Serve customers from the general public. Anyone can use a bank.
Unpaid volunteers from the membership serve on the Board of Directors and guide the credit union. The Board of Directors are usually paid a salary.
As owners, members elect fellow members to serve on the Board of Directors. Only people who own stock can vote for the Board of Directors. The customers who use the bank don't have a say.
Income is returned to members in the form of better savings rates, lower loan rates and low or no fees for services. Income is returned to the stockholders in the form of higher dividends on their shares of stock.
Like other not-for-profit institutions, credit unions are exempt from paying federal income tax. Like other for-profit businesses, banks must pay taxes to the government.
Deposits are federally insured for up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration, a government agency. The Fund is currently at the strongest and best reserved level in its history. Deposits are federally insured for up to $250,000 by the FDIC, a government agency.