October is full of treats. Pumpkin spice lattes generally come back into stores around this time. Halloween brings us trick-o-treating and costume parties. And finally, October is International Credit Unions Month, with the third Thursday of each October being recognized as International Credit Union Day! What a treat!
So why are we so excited about the holiday? 2020’s global health crisis has shown us that credit unions are more important to our local community than ever before. That’s why we’re celebrating all the reasons why banking with credit unions is better than going with a national bank during October’s International Credit Union Month.
Credit Unions vs Banks: The Basics
|Credit Unions||Other Financial Institutions|
|Where does their profit go?||Credit unions are non-profit and exist to help people, not to make a profit. As such, all earnings are returned to their members in the form of high-interest savings and low rate loans||For profit businesses, all earnings are returned to their stockholders|
|Who is in charge of managing my money?||A volunteer board of directors, elected by the members, governs a credit union. With their vote, each member has a direct impact on the direction of the credit union||An elected board of directors, who are paid, are legally required to make decisions that are best for the stockholders, not their customers. Customers have no say (vote) in the running of their financial institution|
|Who does the financial institution focus on?||“People helping people” is the credit union philosophy. A credit union’s goal is to serve all of their members equally and provide charitable contributions to their community.||Other financial institutions focus on making a profit to benefit their stockholders.|
|Who owns the financial institution?||Credit unions are owned by their members. Each member gets one vote and an equal say in how the credit union is run.||Owned by stockholders who expect a return on investment and may not even use the financial institution|
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As a community credit union, we’re here for our members, even when that means supporting them through difficult times. During the recent pandemic United Financial has been able to support small businesses in our community through the Small Business Administration Payment Protection Program (PPP). We granted 48 PPP loans at just over $3 million dollars for our community business members alone.