Banks and Credit Unions

Greater Iowa Credit Union                                                                                                       West Bank

In Iowa the most common financial institutions are banks and credit unions. It is very important that you have a relationship with either a bank or credit union. You should choose what is right for you. If you like working with a big corporation that has many branches, then a big bank is good for you. If you like banks but prefer a smaller business, then a community bank may be best. If you like the idea of a financial cooperative that is not for profit, then a credit union should be your choice.

Banks

A bank is a business that operates to make a profit. Some, like Wells Fargo or U.S. Bank, are very large and have several branch offices, so they are very convenient to use. Some banks are small, and they are called community banks. Many times there is only one branch. These are often found in smaller towns. However, they offer many of the same services as the big banks. If you like the convenience of having many branches and ATMs in your community and across the nation, then a big bank is good for you.

Credit Union

Credit unions are not for profit businesses. They are cooperatives and are governed by volunteers. But like banks, they offer many of the same financial services, such as checking and savings accounts. And like banks, credit unions offer loans, too. You must join a credit union to take advantage of the services, but if there is a cost, it is usually very small, such as $5.

Glossary of Banking Terms

  • Deposit: You can deposit money into your checking or savings account, and that money is also called a deposit.
  • Withdrawal: Taking money out of your account.
  • Transaction: Doing something with your funds at a bank or credit union. Deposits, withdrawals, balance checks are all transactions.
  • Checking account: An account you can draw money from to pay bills and make purchases, using a debit card, ATM or check.
  • Savings account: An account with funds that you are trying to save and often provides a slight amount of interest.
  • Interest: A percentage of your savings that the bank will pay you to use your money. 
  • Loan: Funds the bank lets you use in return for repayment of the principal and monthly interest.
  • Principal: The money owed as a debt

Banks and Credit Unions

Greater Iowa Credit Union                                                                                                       West Bank

In Iowa the most common financial institutions are banks and credit unions. It is very important that you have a relationship with either a bank or credit union. You should choose what is right for you. If you like working with a big corporation that has many branches, then a big bank is good for you. If you like banks but prefer a smaller business, then a community bank may be best. If you like the idea of a financial cooperative that is not for profit, then a credit union should be your choice.

Banks

A bank is a business that operates to make a profit. Some, like Wells Fargo or U.S. Bank, are very large and have several branch offices, so they are very convenient to use. Some banks are small, and they are called community banks. Many times there is only one branch. These are often found in smaller towns. However, they offer many of the same services as the big banks. If you like the convenience of having many branches and ATMs in your community and across the nation, then a big bank is good for you.

Credit Union

Credit unions are not for profit businesses. They are cooperatives and are governed by volunteers. But like banks, they offer many of the same financial services, such as checking and savings accounts. And like banks, credit unions offer loans, too. You must join a credit union to take advantage of the services, but if there is a cost, it is usually very small, such as $5.

Glossary of Banking Terms

  • Deposit: You can deposit money into your checking or savings account, and that money is also called a deposit.
  • Withdrawal: Taking money out of your account.
  • Transaction: Doing something with your funds at a bank or credit union. Deposits, withdrawals, balance checks are all transactions.
  • Checking account: An account you can draw money from to pay bills and make purchases, using a debit card, ATM or check.
  • Savings account: An account with funds that you are trying to save and often provides a slight amount of interest.
  • Interest: A percentage of your savings that the bank will pay you to use your money. 
  • Loan: Funds the bank lets you use in return for repayment of the principal and monthly interest.
  • Principal: The money owed as a debt