Monday, February 23, 2015

8 Reasons You Should Join a Credit Union in 2015

If you have yet to join a credit union, there is no better time than the present. If you have only experienced traditional banks, you might not realize all of the advantages that accompany being a member at a credit union. Here are some reasons you should consider joining one in 2015:

1) More competitive interest rates. Interest & dividend rates are generally more attractive with credit unions, largely because profits are reinvested into the credit union. This significantly reduces borrowing costs and yields higher returns on savings.

2) Fees are lower or in some cases absent. Do you ever get tired of fees that appear on your bank account every month? With credit unions, you’ll deal with little or no fees for maintaining balances and more.

3) Full range of services. Whether you’re looking for a personal or business loan, or need help with investments or insurance, credit unions are truly full-service financial institutions that can meet virtually any need you or your family may have.

4) Free checking truly is free. While some banks also offer free checking, those “free” accounts often come with strings attached or fine print, such as requiring high minimum balances or an obligatory number of monthly transactions. With credit unions, checking account fees are rare, and you can often open an account with as little as $5.

5) “Co-operation” matters. Credit unions “co-operate” with other credit unions to combine resources that directly benefit members, such as surcharge free CO-OP ATM networks. Banks rarely provide such shared resources with other banks.

6) Incentives toward education are provided. Many credit unions provide scholarship programs for their college bound members. Additionally, many also offer student checking and savings accounts, lower interest rates on student and auto loans, “beginner” credit cards and programs to educate students of all ages about financial responsibility.

7) You’re a member, not just a customer. As a credit union member, you are also an owner and shareholder of the organization. Profits are reinvested into the credit union and its members are the main beneficiaries. Credit union members have a direct stake in the well-being of the credit union, whereas investors reap the most rewards at banks.

8) They support your local community. Credit unions were created to serve local communities and assist the financial wellness of their members. Many credit unions donate thousands of dollars to nonprofits that assist the communities they serve. By banking at a credit union, you can pay it forward to organizations that help those that need it most in your neighborhood.

While many banks try to offer similar perks, they usually do not have the same “member focus” that credit unions have. Because of the superior personal attention credit unions give to members, they consistently earn higher customer satisfaction ratings when compared to banks. There is no better time than now to learn about the credit union difference. If you are interested in joining or learning more about Community Financial, contact us through cfcu.org/contact.

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