Banking with a credit union
If you are like most people, you do your banking with a large national bank. These are stable, have been around for decades and are generally regarded as safe. However, recently, the trust that most people, and especially younger individuals, have in large financial institutions is dwindling.
People are looking for better options, and that is why so many people are flocking to credit unions. There are more than 100 million people who are currently members of a credit union and this is only expected to rise. But what are the reasons to go with a credit union over a bank?
Whether you are a member of the Dane County Credit Union in Madison or a member of any of the thousands of other credit unions, this article is going to look at the benefits of banking and working with a credit union.
They Put Customers First
When you are with a bank, they essentially treat you like a number. You are one of their thousands (or millions) of customers and you don’t quite get that personal customer service that many of us want.
Also, the sole goal of a bank is to make money for their shareholders. They don’t always have your best interest in mind if it interferes with their ability to make money. However, when you get an account with a credit union, you become a member. Credit unions don’t have stockholders to pay back, so they work to make their members and customers happy.
This nonprofit model of business means they don’t sacrifice the happiness of their customers in order to make more money. Many will also be more forgiving to customers than traditional banks. For example, there will often be less harsh penalties if you overdraw on your account and they are often willing to work with those that have lower credit scores or other financial constrictions. This will, of course, vary from one credit union to another.
Credit Unions Often Have Better Rates and Lower Fees
On top of credit unions often treating customers better, they also offer better interest rates and lower fees. Many savings accounts at credit unions offer higher interest rates, which allow the money customers are saving to grow more quickly and effectively. While the exact rates range, many credit unions offer savings interest rates several percentage points higher than big banks.
Credit unions will also offer lower interest rates on loans and credit cards in many cases. This allows you to borrow money more affordably and easily. In addition to better interest rates on accounts and loans, credit unions also have lower fees. Account fees, transfer fees, ATM fees and other fees can add up over time and these are usually lower or non-existent at credit unions.
Many Offer Perks and Extra Education
A cool thing that many credit unions will do is to educate their customers on all things finances. They are trying to help their members understand more about everything from credit to budgeting. They may host free workshops, information sessions, seminars or other events to give back to their community. A credit union has more of a “community-like” feel than most banks, so it is no surprise to see them do things like this.
Some may even offer things like insurance or advisory services. Of course, don’t expect this at every credit union in your area. If you are curious about if a credit union offers benefits like extra education or other perks, be sure to ask them ahead of time.
In conclusion, working with a credit union offers several different benefits over simply working with a big bank.