Liliha - Kapalama, Hawaii
1138 North King Street
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 832-8700

What Is a Credit Union & How Is It Different From a Regular Bank? September 25, 2017

Liliha - Kapalama, Honolulu
What Is a Credit Union & How Is It Different From a Regular Bank?, Honolulu, Hawaii

Finding a secure way to do all of your banking often feels challenging. With so many big financial institutions featured in the news, it can seem like there’s no good place to keep your money. However, a credit union offers a different form of banking that puts the control in your hands, not with a board of CEOs and financial consultants. Below is a quick outline of what this institution is and how it differs from larger commercial banks.

What Is a Credit Union?

Credit unions are financial institutions that operate as a cooperative and are not centrally-owned. Members join the co-op by depositing money—a way of investing in the business and becoming part-owners. As people continue to enlist, the total of their deposits is used to help fund loans, make investments, build the community, and take care of the credit union itself. Some operate on a mostly volunteer basis while others function as a company, providing more in-depth financial services to their members.

How They’re Different from Banks

Credit UnionTraditional banks are owned by a specific company and headed by a president, CEO, and other board of directors. These individuals are responsible for pleasing the shareholders who own stock while also ensuring that the bank is operating at its best. However, to achieve a high rate of return for their shareholders, these institutions often charge high fees, offer lower returns on interest-earning accounts, and may even limit services to reduce the drain on their profits.

A credit union, on the other hand, works to benefit its members and the community. This means they are often able to extend better interest rates on loans, offer higher returns on accounts, and listen to concerns about their operating procedures. The board of directors and managers are answerable to the members, not outside investors. They’ll work to help them reach better financial wellness while doing their part to improve the community.


With hundreds of millions of dollars in assets and over 50,000 members across the state, Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union based in Honolulu, is one of the leading financial institutions in the region, with a reputation for combining personalized service with technologically advanced personal banking solutions. Learn more about their broad array of services online, follow their FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for news and updates, or call 832-8700 on Oahu or toll-free at (800) 272-5255 with any questions.

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