Credit Union vs. Bank

Similar services, different philosophies

When it comes to financial products and services, credit unions and banks are on equal ground. But that's where the similarities end. As a credit union, 7 17 is a not-for-profit institution whose focus is to return profits to our Members as higher dividends on savings, lower rates on loans, and lower or no fees, compared to traditional banks. And our Members also own a share of the credit union, so we're all invested in each other. We're your neighbors, guided by the credit union philosophy of "people helping people," and we're committed to you and our communities.

This chart explains other differences between credit unions and banks.

Aspect Credit Union Bank
Member/Customer When you open a savings (or share) account at a credit union, you become a Member. Each Member is an owner of the credit union. When you hold an account at a bank, you are called a customer. As only a customer, you have no ownership in the institution.
Ownership Members own their credit union. When you deposit your money, you’re actually buying shares of the company. Rather than being a customer, you’re part owner; that’s why your Membership account is called a "share." Banks are owned by investors who may or may not be customers of the bank.
Control/Management Since credit union Members are owners, each Member has an equal vote in electing directors no matter how much money they have on deposit or the number of accounts they have. Members can also run for election to the Board. Banks are owned and controlled by stockholders, whose number of votes depends upon number of shares owned. Customers do not have voting rights, generally cannot be elected to the Board and have no say in how their bank is operated.
Board of Directors Unpaid volunteers elected by credit union Members, giving Members more of an influence on the credit union. Paid directors elected by shareholders, who make decisions in the best interest of the stockholders, not the customers of the bank.
Not-For-Profit/For Profit Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that exist to serve their Members rather than to maximize corporate profits. Banks are profit-oriented organizations and exist to earn a profit for stockholders.
Where do earnings go? Credit unions distribute earnings back to Members in the form of higher savings rates, lower loan rates and fees, and enhanced products and services. Banks declared earnings are paid to stockholders.
Cooperative Credit unions cooperate with other credit unions and share resources to bring convenience and savings to its Members. One example of this is the shared branching service available at many credit unions. Competition between banks prohibits a sharing of resources.
Insured Credit union deposits are federally insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Bank deposits are federally insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

7 17 Credit Union serves the greater Warren, Kent, Ravenna, Canton, and Youngstown, OH, areas with branches in Warren, Cortland, Vienna, Howland, Hubbard, Austintown, Boardman, Kent, Ravenna, North Jackson and Canton. If you live or work in Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Portage, Summit or Central Stark County in Ohio, you can become a Member  of 7 17 Credit Union.