You’ve probably heard it before from family and friends, or even from Clark Howard – “You should join a credit union!” But why? What’s the difference between a credit union and a bank, and why should you choose one over the other? Hopefully the information below will answer those questions and more.

Credit Union



A not-for-profit financial cooperative aimed at promoting thrift, savings and sound credit use to improve the lives of its member-owners.

A for-profit financial institution aimed at maximizing profits for stockholders.

Account Holders

Every member of the credit union is an equal owner, not just a customer.

Banks have customers. Only stockholders are considered owners of a bank, and they are not required to have an open account at the bank they invest in.


Credit unions have a Board of Directors, who serve as unpaid volunteers. The Board is elected by the credit union’s members.

A bank’s Board of Directors is elected by stockholders. They are paid and legally bound to make decisions that benefit stockholders, not the bank’s customers.


Credit union profits, in excess of expenses, are returned to members in the form of lower loan rates, higher savings rates and lower fees.

Banks maximize profits for stockholders, often offering little to no return to customers for their investment.


Credit unions are exempt from corporate income tax since they are not-for-profit cooperatives that return profits to their members.

Banks are taxed because they are designated as for-profit corporations who only return profits to their stockholders.

Credit Union Cooperative Principles

Peach State’s Internal Core Values

Commitment to your co-workers. Be there for them and they will be there for you. Build them up if they are down. Offer assistance if they are struggling. Celebrate when they succeed.
Commitment to our members. You have the ability to help so many people. The most difficult members are often the ones that need the most guidance. There are no problems – only opportunities.
Commitment to the idea that this is your profession – regardless of how long you plan on being employed here.
Commitment to yourself. Commitment to the Credit Union Movement. Commitment to the idea that Peach State is only as good as its employees.
As community leaders we have the ability to improve our communities beyond the walls of our credit union. We reinvest directly into the community through donations, fundraisers, charity drives, support for the arts and education.
Without the community we have no members. Without our members we cannot survive
Where credit unions go, communities thrive. This only holds true if every employee understands the ability the credit union has to improve lives.
Through our products and services we help our neighbors realize their goals and dreams.
Always be curious. Ask questions. Be enthusiastic.
Prepare yourself for the opportunities of the future. If you don’t you might not recognize those opportunities as they pass by.
The Credit Union Movement is constantly growing. Everyone needs to grow with it or risk being left behind. We are educators to our members. The more informed our membership, the stronger we are.
Your personal improvement benefits Peach State. The better you are, the better we are.
One of the best ways to learn is by teaching others.
Excellence is a mindset. Effort converts that mindset into habit. Someone with a habit of Excellence has no boundaries. Every employee has a unique Excellence in them. Use that Excellence to bring your personality to the job.
Excellence should not be the exception – it should be the rule.Excellence is ever changing and thus we should always be focused inward as well as outward.
Actively seek out and provide constructive criticism. This is how Excellence is achieved.
Strive to be the very best at your position.
Make the hard decision. Come forward simply because it is the right thing to do. Do the right thing when no one else is looking.
Don’t say anything about someone that you wouldn’t say to their face. It’s easy to have integrity when everything is fine. Adversity provides us with the chance to truly shine.
Admit and own your mistakes. Never pass the buck.
Understand that members’ needs should always be put first. When in doubt, consider the impact to the member. Turn the tables and look through their eyes.
Passion is the drive that consistently raises the bar. Passion is putting your talents towards a purpose that is worthwhile to you.
We try to help people understand that they can be more than they are – that they can build a better life for themselves and their families. Passion is not a replacement for accountability.
Passion is everything – find yours and use it. Peach State has a passion for helping people. We use the tools of our trade to provide members with opportunity.
Passion should never be used as an excuse or scapegoat.
Respect is to be given to all, regardless of position. Respect means you value someone as a human being. Always be conscious of perception, for perception is reality.
Common courtesy is to be common. Acts of kindness should be routine – not random. We treat our fellow employees in a manner that directly reflects the way in which we are expected to treat our members.
“Do unto other as you would have them do unto you.”
Disagreements are productive. Arguments are not. This is not a place to “one-up” or belittle people.
A transaction is just something you do while having a conversation with a member. Credit unions already have a reputation for great member service. It’s our responsibility to exceed that high expectation.
Peach State should be a breath of fresh air to our members.
No one remembers nor appreciates things that are routine. A lasting impression is made with an unexpected level of service.
A single interaction can change the course of a member’s day, week, or month. Never underestimate the power of a kind word or action.
Use your team. Lean on your teammates but do not hide behind their efforts. Hold your teammates accountable for their actions – good or bad.
Every branch is a team of employees. Every region is a team of branches. Every department is a team of front office AND back office employees. Peach State is a team made up of every single employee.
The team cannot function if only one person does all the talking/thinking. Collaborate. Discuss. You have good ideas.
Contribute. Find something that you do well and use that skill to better your team.
Your word is your promise – It is who you are. Dependable people earn trust and respect. Do what you say you’re going to do. Without that understanding nothing can be accomplished.
Trust is paramount and you must always feel the weight of it. Trust in your team. Trust that everyone wants the TEAM to succeed.
Employees must be trustworthy on the highest level. Members of our community place their trust in our hands with more than just their money – with their financial security, their livelihoods, their reputation, their futures.
Trust in yourself. Trust that you have support among your coworkers. Trust that you’re success is an integral part of Peach State’s success.