Credit unions offer all the same products as banks, including savings and checking accounts, car loans, mortgages, credit cards, investments, and more. Like banks, credit union deposits are federally insured to at least $250,000. However banks and credit unions are structured differently:

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that exist to provide low and no-cost financial products and services to their members. Banks are profit-oriented companies that provide financial products and services for the primary purpose of making money for their stockholders.

Credit unions and banks are taxed differently. Because taxes are levied on profits, and credit unions are not-for-profit organizations, income taxes are not assessed. Credit unions do pay state sales, property and employment-related taxes, and these funds largely remain local to provide vital services to residents and businesses.

Credit unions serve a specific field of membership or community, generally comprised of people who share a common bond such as where they live or work. In Redwood's case, we can serve anyone who lives, works or owns a business in San Francisco or the North Bay. Banks have no restrictions on who can become a customer.

Credit unions have unpaid volunteer Boards of Directors who are Members of the credit union, and are elected democratically by the Member-Owners.

 Learn more here: What is a credit union?