Credit Unions vs. Traditional Banks: The Credit Union Difference

The difference between credit unions and banks? Think of the difference between a mega-corporation and a small-town nonprofit. One always has its eye on the bottom line, while the other focuses on its people rather than profits.

Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about both:

Fact: Credit unions have been around for a long time

It’s true! The first credit union in the United States opened in April of 1909. RMLEFCU was initially founded by the Denver Police Department and has proudly served law enforcement officers and their families since 1938. Over the years, we’ve grown to include a membership of more than 14,000 members and assets nearing $300 million!

Fiction: Credit unions are pretty much the same as banks

While credit unions and banks both help you manage and control your finances, they couldn’t be more different. Credit unions like RMLEFCU are not-for-profit, so they are specifically designed to promote the wellbeing of their members. In fact, all profits are returned to members in the form of reduced fees, savings rates, and lower loan rates. In contrast, banks are for-profit organizations, so their earnings are paid to shareholders.

Fact: Members own their credit union

Credit unions are by the people, for the people! Like we said before, while banks have shareholders, credit unions are owned by their members. When you join a credit union, your opening deposit is your share in the credit union. Then, as a member, you have access to every perk the credit union has to offer!

Fiction: Your money isn't as safe with a credit union

All your accounts–from your savings account to your checking account—are typically insured up to $250,000 at both credit unions and banks. Credit union members are insured by the National Credit Union Administration, while bank customers are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Fact: Credit unions can help you save money

Credit unions are always trying to find new ways to help and give back to their members—after all, your success drives our success! For example, here at RMLEFCU, we have several member perks:

All three of our checking accounts are highly rated, and totally free! Each one yields up to 2% APY*

We offer up to 110% financing on our auto loans, and offer a rate as low as 2.49% APR*

For this month only, take advantage of a 4.25% APR* with our RMLEFCU Second Mortgage/Home Equity Loan

We partnered with SavvyMoney so our members could take control of their credit from the convenience of our mobile app or online banking services

And more!

Fiction: Credit unions don't offer mobile banking

In recent years, credit unions have taken action to make sure all their members have the opportunity to utilize mobile banking. In fact, RMLEFCU offers a comprehensive digital banking platform and modern mobile app so our members can bank 24/7—and best of all, it’s fast, free, and secure.

We’ve even partnered with MoneyPass, an ATM network that gives our members access to tens of thousands of surcharge-free ATMs nationwide!

The Choice is Yours

While banks and credit unions share a similar purpose, credit unions put their members first. All of us here at RMLEFCU proudly back the blue in every way we can, and we care deeply about our members.

Are you ready to see the credit union difference and join the RMLEFCU family? Drop by one of our branches or give us a call at (303) 458-6660.

*Annual Percentage Rate. With approved credit. Some restrictions may apply. Rate subject to change.