Credit union vs. bank: Which is right for you?

As you enter adulthood and start earning your own money, you’ve likely realized that you need a better place to stash your cash than your old piggy bank or under the mattress. But there are so many options to choose from — national banks, digital banks, or neighborhood credit unions — selecting one can be overwhelming.

When deciding where to put your money, there are two main options: credit unions and banks. To help you select the right option, we break down the key features of these financial institutions.

Understanding credit unions

All credit unions are nonprofit organizations that are member-owned, meaning their customers have a say in how the credit unions are run. As of the end of 2022, there were nearly 5,000 credit unions in the United States.

Credit unions provide a variety of financial products and services, including savings accounts, checking accounts, and loans. As nonprofit organizations, credit union members can take advantage of better interest rates and fees:


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