A non-profit, member owned financial institution. Unlike banks, Credit Unions are not out to rip off their customers with a fee for every little thing they do.
Credit Unions usually have better rates on loans, savings accounts and CDs.
Greedy banks are out to squeeze every dime out they can from their customers and make obscene profits. They think Credit Unions have an unfair advantage because of their non-profit tax-exempt status. If banks were not so greedy and corrupt and treated their cutomers right, they would not need to fear competition!
After putting up with years of abuse from my bank, I switched to the local Community Credit Union. Now I have free checking, free atm card and a lot less hassle!
A scheme to avoid paying taxes. CU members argue that they should be tax exempt because
1. They are member-owned. (Other member-owned coops pay taxes on non-disbursed earnings)
2. They can't issue stock. (Lots of companies--many LLCs, sole proprietorships, S Corporations, etc. -- do not issue stock but still pay income taxes.
3. CUs (allegedly) provide better service (tax exemptions are not awarded to companies that provide the best service).
Credit unions were originally tax exempt because they provided financial services to underserved markets. Today, however, credit unions compete directly against banks and should therefore pay taxes.