Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Top 5 Benefits Of Joining A Credit Union

The Credit Union National Association reports that over 96 million Americans belong to a credit union instead of, or in addition to, a traditional bank. 

With so many people jumping ship to credit unions, it makes sense to consider the benefits of becoming a member to one of the more than 6,000 credit unions in the United States. 

Keep these five benefits and advantages of credit unions in mind when making your decision whether to switch or not.

Better Service

Since credit unions are owned by their members, they focus on giving their members the services that they need at an affordable rate. 

As a member you’ll also have a say in how things are run. Banks are profit centers that focus on the bottom line and try to get as much money as they can from each customer. 

Belonging to a credit union gives you a better chance of receiving excellent service and speaking to a human as opposed to an automated system.

Lower Interest Rates

Credit unions typically have lower interest rates than banks. Since they are not-for-profit organizations, they can pass these savings onto their members. 

A lower interest rate amounts to thousands of dollars for a large loan for an automobile or home. Most credit unions also offer low-interest credit cards too.

No strings attached accounts

Most banks have a minimum balance or activity requirement for the account to remain open and in good standing. More than 75 percent of credit unions have no minimum balance requirement for members to avoid fees.

Fees are lower

Fees for the same services that a bank offers are cheaper at credit unions because their ultimate goal is to serve their members. 

You can check out different fees at sites like for more information on fees and customer service. Credit Unions like this have a bit more flexibility in how and what they charge their members. 

It’s more common for a credit union to reduce services than raise fees for its members. They do have to maintain some fees in order to remain federally regulated, but they’re still significantly lower than a traditional bank.

Shared branches and ATMS

Banks used to be able to boast that they were the only ones with a large network of ATMs for their members to use without incurring fees. 

That has changed with the co-operative network of credit unions allowing customers to use shared resources to avoid fees. Individuals can also go into other branches and conduct transactions in person regardless of where they are. 

Before joining a credit union, make sure that you know where the other branches and ATMs are located so that you are able to make the most of your membership.

It used to be difficult to join a credit union because they required you to work at a certain company or belong to a specific organization, but membership opportunities have spread vastly in the last few years. 

Many credit unions only have a residency in a certain town or county to join. Credit union membership continues to grow while distrust in banks spreads. It’s clear that a credit union is worth looking into for savings and other perks.

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