Staff and Board Members of Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union at the Minnesota State Capital to advocate for the Credit Union Difference.

What makes a credit union different?

Credit Unions and banks often get used as interchangeable terms, but there are many big differences that make them unique. The biggest difference is that credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members and the community. Credit unions are owned and controlled by the members who use their services. A volunteer board of directors is elected by members to manage a credit union, and they operate to support the financial well-being of their members. Profits made by credit unions are returned back to members in the form of low fees, higher savings rates, and lower loan rates.

Minnesota credit unions provided $135 million in direct financial benefits to the state’s 2 million members during the 12 months ending September 2022. That’s the equivalent of $67 per credit union member or $140 per member household. Credit unions in Minnesota also contributed 13,642 jobs and $2.7 billion to local economies and provided $4.6 billion in member business loans. Over 2 million members with $37 billion in assets belong to Minnesota credit unions.

On a national level, according to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) 2022 national voter poll, nearly 90% of credit union members say their credit union has improved their financial well-being and these members are two times more likely than non-members to say they have received personalized financial education. The National Credit Union Association (NCUA) data shows that 86% of credit unions provide access to financial education to their members.

Minnesota credit unions also put their communities first. In 2022, 3,000 volunteers from 66 credit unions and partners dedicated 3,000 hours to community service projects. Credit unions also provided numerous scholarships.

In January, leadership from MEFCU and over 100 credit union professionals and board members from across Minnesota gathered in-person at the state capitol. They met with legislators to discuss legislative priorities and credit unions’ role in promoting financial well-being and investing in local communities.

As a member of a credit union, you can take pride in your membership. Credit unions aren’t just good for members, they invest back into the communities they serve and put people above profit.