A Credit Union is a co-operative financial institution, within which the membership possesses full ownership and control. Credit unions serve groups of persons who share a common bond, such as place of residence, nature of employment, religious denomination and the like. Credit unions are also not-for-profit organizations and exist to provide members with a safe, convenient and advantageous means of saving and obtaining other financial services at reasonable rates.
This member-owned, cooperative financial institution provides many of the same financial services as other financial institutions, which includes but is not limited to saving and youth and senior accounts, loans for a variety of purposes, insurance, and even convenient services to access and send funds.
While for-profit institutions operate to maximize profit for distribution amongst their shareholders, credit-unions operate at cost to provide a service to their members and earnings in excess of operational costs are redistributed amongst it's members. This is done by way of allotment to its members in the form of increased interest on savings, improved return on shares, decreased rates on loans or other new and improved services which serve to secure general wellbeing of its membership.