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Discover the MEFCU Difference: Exploring Credit Unions vs. Banks

Credit Union vs. Bank: Exploring the MEFCU Difference | Ridgeland, MS Credit Union | Pearl, MS Credit Union | Byram, MS Credit Union

Introducing Members Exchange Federal Credit Union (MEFCU)

Welcome to Members Exchange Federal Credit Union (MEFCU), where community, ownership, and exceptional service intersect. Formerly known as Members Exchange Credit Union (MECU), we’ve recently transitioned to a federal credit union to better serve our members’ evolving needs. As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, MEFCU is owned and operated by our members, allowing us to prioritize your financial well-being above all else.

Understanding the Basics: Credit Unions and Banks

In the world of financial institutions, two main players stand out: credit unions and banks. While both offer essential financial services, they differ significantly in structure, goals, and member relationships.

What is a Credit Union?

Credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives. This means that the members themselves own the credit union, and any profits made are reinvested into the institution for the benefit of its members. Credit unions prioritize their members’ financial well-being above all else.

One of the most significant distinctions of credit unions is their focus on serving a specific group of individuals, often based on a common bond such as employment, geographic location, or membership in an organization. This shared connection fosters a sense of community and enables credit unions to tailor their products and services to the unique needs of their members.

What is a Bank?

Banks, on the other hand, are for-profit institutions owned by shareholders or investors. Their primary objective is to generate profits for their shareholders, often through fees, interest charges, and other financial services. While banks also provide essential financial services to individuals and businesses, their profit-driven model can sometimes result in higher fees and less personalized service compared to credit unions.

Key Differences: Credit Union vs. Bank

Ownership Structure

  • Credit Union: Member-owned cooperative
  • Bank: Shareholder-owned corporation


  • Credit Union: Serve the financial needs of members
  • Bank: Generate profits for shareholders

Decision-Making Process

  • Credit Union: Democratic process where each member has one vote
  • Bank: Decision-making controlled by shareholders based on the number of shares owned

Profit Distribution

  • Credit Union: Profits returned to members in the form of lower fees, higher earnings rates on savings accounts, and enhanced services
  • Bank: Profits distributed to shareholders in the form of dividends

Membership Eligibility

  • Credit Union: Typically restricted to individuals who share a common bond, such as employees of a company or residents of a specific geographic area
  • Bank: Generally open to anyone who meets their account opening requirements, regardless of affiliation

The MEFCU Difference: Serving Our Expanded Community

With our recent transition to a federal credit union and the expansion of our membership eligibility criteria, MEFCU is excited to bring the benefits of credit union membership to even more individuals and families across Mississippi.

What Sets MEFCU Apart?

  • Member Ownership: As a member-owned cooperative, every individual who banks with MEFCU is also a part-owner of the credit union. This ownership structure ensures that our focus remains squarely on the needs and priorities of our members.
  • Community Focus: By serving specific geographic areas and common bonds, MEFCU fosters a sense of community and belonging among our members. We understand the local challenges and opportunities facing our communities, allowing us to provide tailored financial solutions that make a meaningful difference in our members’ lives.
  • Financial Benefits: Unlike traditional banks, MEFCU operates on a not-for-profit basis, which means that any surplus funds are reinvested back into the credit union to benefit our members. This often translates into lower fees, competitive interest rates, and enhanced services for our members.
  • Democratic Governance: At MEFCU, every member has an equal voice in the decision-making process. Our democratic governance structure ensures that all members have a say in how the credit union is run and the direction it takes in serving our community.

Expanding Our Reach: Welcoming New Members

With our expanded membership eligibility criteria, we invite individuals and families in the following counties to experience the MEFCU difference:

  • Hinds
  • Madison
  • Rankin
  • Copiah
  • Simpson
  • Attala
  • Claiborne
  • Covington
  • Holmes
  • Jasper
  • Jefferson
  • Jefferson Davis
  • Jones
  • Lawrence
  • Leake
  • Lincoln
  • Neshoba
  • Newton
  • Scott
  • Smith
  • Warren
  • Winston
  • Yazoo

Join MEFCU Today

Ready to experience the benefits of credit union membership with MEFCU? Joining is easy! Simply visit our website or stop by one of our convenient branch locations to open your account with a minimum $1.00 deposit in a share savings account. There’s no joining fee, and once you become a member, your immediate family members also become eligible to join. Contact us on our website or call us at 601-922-3350 or toll-free at 1-800-748-9459

Discover the difference that MEFCU can make in your financial life. Become a member today!

Please note that account features are subject to change, and this blog post is for informational purposes only, not financial advice. For personalized advice, consult with a financial advisor.