Westmark Credit Union
We are a full-service financial institution, owned by our members & committed to the development of their financial future. We have 12 convenient locations.

What Are the Differences Between a Credit Union and a Bank?

Balancing Stones

Banks and credit unions appear to share many similarities at first. You can drive through to an ATM, use a debit or credit card, speak with a teller to deposit a check, and more. However, banks and credit unions are fundamentally very different. Here are some of the major differences between a credit union and a bank.


  • When you deposit money into a credit union, you are actually buying shares of that company. Instead of being a customer, you are a member and part owner. This means that instead of having an account, you have a share. Whereas banks are controlled by a corporate interest, members of a credit union make and agree upon all decisions at that credit union. Because credit unions are owned and operated by its members, the degree of involvement in decision-making is infinitely greater.


  • Credit unions offer vastly better rates on savings and loans. Because credit unions are not for-profit organizations, you will enjoy higher interest rates on savings accounts and lower interest rates on credit cards. Money market, savings, and checking accounts all offer exponentially higher interest rates in comparison to most banks. Additionally, credit unions have very few fees in comparison to most banks, and they offer similar financial products at cheaper rates.


  • Typically, members of a credit union will belong to a similar group, which creates a sense of community. Membership allows people a true say in everything because, as a shareholder, you become a part owner. The sense of community and family provided by credit unions can be no better seen than when you are greeted personally upon walking in the door. Whereas many banks will not know you by name or treat you as an individual, at credit unions, the service is personal and warm.

For a home or auto loan, contact Westmark Credit Union or visit one of our ten conveniently located branches in Idaho. Become a member and part owner today by calling us at (800)-574-5626.


2520 Channing Way
Idaho Falls, ID 83404

Hours of Operation:

  • Closed Sunday
  • 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday
  • 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Tuesday
  • 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Wednesday
  • 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Thursday
  • 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM Friday
  • 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday