Credit Unions are the underdog of financial institutions. With over 100 million members and $1.1 trillion in assets, credit unions are growing but still pale in comparison to the trillions of dollars in assets held by the big banks.

But sometimes, the underdog is the better option, which is often true in the case of credit unions. Credit unions often offer lower fees, lower interest rates, better customer service and are accountable to their members compared to deep-pocket stockholders.

Credit unions also differ from banks in their eligibility requirements. Laws created by the Federal Credit Union Act of 1934 dictate credit unions must have defined memberships. For example, members must have a common bond such as the same place of worship, employer, geographic location or relationship to an existing member. Read more