What is the "credit union" difference? It means that when you become a member you also become an owner. So what impact does that have on you? When the credit union makes money it is not distributed to stockholders who may, or may not, use the financial institution themselves. The profits of a credit union are used exclusively for it's member/owners. The profits may mean lower loan rates or higher savings rates or both for the member/owners. It may also mean increased services that the member/owners are requesting. The bottom line is that the credit union exists to serve it's members. The bottom line for financial institutions that have stockholders is increasing the dividends for those stockholders.