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A credit union is an alternative to a bank. It is a cooperative financial institution that is owned and controlled by the people who use its services. The people who use a credit union are its members, and they have something in common such as where they work, live, or attend church.
Because credit unions are not-for-profit, they provide more desirable rates and fees than banks. At a credit union, a savings account is sometimes called a share account, while a checking account is a share draft account.