Skip to Main Content Skip to Sitemap
librarian image
 Let me assist you. Enter keyword to get started.

How is a Credit Union Different from a Bank?


Not for profit.
Credit unions have members, not shareholders    Banks have customers and shareholders, and must make money to please shareholders
Credit unions are democratically governed, and elections are based on a one-member, one-vote philosophy.   Banks are governed by paid shareholders. Voting rights depend on the number of shares owned.
Credit Unions reflect the communities in which they’re based, with decision being made in the community by community leaders.

Big banks are run by a select few people from corporate headquarters far from many of America’s neighborhoods.

Credit unions are the fabric of their community, and look like their community. 51% of CU CEOs are women   Slow to reflect the face of America, only 5% of bank CEOs are women.
10% of credit unions are minority depository institutions (MDIs).
  Only 3% of banks are MDIs.
With a focus on member benefits, earnings are returned to members through services like free ATMs, better rates and lower fees.   Because Banks must make money to please shareholders, earnings go to outside stockholders in the form of dividends.
Because they’re focused on people, not profits, many credit unions are eager to help everyday Americans with unforeseen financial emergencies.   Many emergency bank loans have higher rates and poorer terms, given their focus on profits.
Credit unions have members, not shareholders.   Banks have customers and shareholders. They must make money from their customers to please shareholders.
Have Questions?
If you have any questions, please call us at (800) 537-8491, chat via Online/Mobile Banking, or visit your nearest branch.

How's First Financial Different from Other Credit Unions?

We're dedicated to making a difference in the lives of educators and those who work in the educational field, and our commitment goes beyond special treatment during Education Appreciation Month in May or Back-to-School events in September. Everything we do focuses on our educational community members and how we can help them achieve their financial goals. It's been that way since 1933.

Membership with First Financial opens doors to a number of benefits, including:

Our products and services always make the grade because our member service is at the head of the class. Because we're enmeshed in the educational community, we understand our members' needs and how to provide the support necessary to help them succeed.

When you join First Financial Credit Union, you'll become a member-owner with a say in how our credit union is run. Our volunteer Board of Directors comprises active and retired educators who listen to member feedback and chart First Financial's course accordingly to benefit everyone.

Experience the First Financial difference and see how we can help you strengthen your financial standing.