7 Reasons You Should Join A Credit Union

When it comes to doing your banking, your first thought might be a bank. Why? Maybe because they are bigger, seem more popular, you actually know what a bank is and the word “bank” is in banking. It’s comfortable and familiar. But, how about a credit union?  Many people don’t think about credit unions as an option. In fact, most people don’t really know the difference between credit unions and banks, and unfortunately, don’t want to take the chance to learn about them. Because banks seem bigger, more popular and have really cool advertising campaigns that are engrained in your brain, you may assume that means your money is safer and you’re getting more benefits. While your money might be safe, that statement about getting “more benefits” isn’t actually true. In fact, when you weigh the benefits of credit unions vs. banks, you might actually be surprised with what you find out.

Bank vs. Credit Union

As a member, you are part owner of a credit union.

Credit unions are member-owned. This means that the only group of people a credit union is worried about pleasing is its members. Banks are owned by individual shareholders, which means the only reason they want to earn profit is to give it to their shareholders to keep them happy. Credit unions give their profits right back to their members in the form of low interest rates on loans, high interest earnings on savings accounts, little to no fees and free services like online banking and free mobile apps. That would make you happy right? Credit unions earn profit, but don’t keep it for themselves or boost that profit by charging unnecessary fees just because they can, they spread their wealth to their membership – you. So, if you’re sick of your bank charging you fees that don’t make sense, now you know why they charge you. You’re paying their shareholders. Is that really where you want your hard-earned money to go?

Hard-Earned Money

A credit union is like a big happy family.

Speaking of memberships, when you join a credit union you’re not simply joining another financial institution where you’re just another face in the crowd, you join a group of people with a certain commonality. For some credit unions, membership is based upon where you live, others could be where you work, go to school or even if you have a family member who is a part of the credit union. At credit unions you are part of something bigger where everyone is working together for common life goals. That’s why to a credit union, you’re a member, but at a bank you’re a customer.

Credit Union Family

Community involvement isn’t just encouraged, it’s a priority.

The communities that credit unions serve play a big role in how a credit union operates. Why? Because their members and their families come from these communities and what better way to say thank you then to give back to the homes they share. Many credit unions provide monetary support through generous donations or hold clothing, food and toy drives. Credit union employees are also known to devote countless hours volunteering at organizations that offer assistance with food, shelter, health and education to the less fortunate. The best part is that banking has nothing to do with it. Whether the organizations or individuals are members of any credit union or bank, credit unions are willing to help. Where there is a hand needed, communities at large can count on credit unions to reach out.

millcity

Credit unions believe that financial literacy is the backbone of superb financial management.

Credit unions want their members to know how to manage their money successfully. This starts with making smart financial choices, and credit unions provide guidance and education so their members can do just that. Remember, credit unions use some of their profit to provide free services to their members and this includes workshops, seminars, in-branch and even in-school presentations. These are not only open to members but the entire community. When more people are educated on making sound financial decisions, the community as a whole becomes more aware and that only means smarter choices all around.

Financial Education

Check out http://moneystrong.org/ for workshops, seminars and financial education resources provided by Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union.

Your money is protected.

A misconception about credit unions is that money isn’t secured in the same way it is at banks, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Think of a radio commercial for a bank. You can probably remember the speaker at the end spitting out “Federally insured by the FDIC” really quickly. Banks are insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) and credit unions are insured by the NCUA (National Credit Union Association). What’s the difference? Let’s look to their websites…

FDIC: “The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) preserves and promotes public confidence in the U.S. financial system by insuring deposits in banks and thrift institutions for up to $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank…”  (https://www.fdic.gov/)

NCUA: “Federally insured credit unions offer a safe place for you to save your money, with deposits insured up to at least $250,000 per individual depositor.” (http://www.mycreditunion.gov/)

So what’s the difference? Really, just the organizations by which the insurance is being provided. Your individual deposits are protected up to $250,000 at a bank and a credit union. Same insurance standards, just for two different types of financial institutions. Some credit unions also offer secondary insurance that will protect your assets above the federally insured limits.

NCUA

Your financial options are limitless.

Need basic savings and checking accounts? Credit unions have those. How about a mortgage or a new/used auto loan? They have those, too. Starting a business and need business accounts? Want to open a credit card, get a home equity line of credit or loan, or need help with retirement plans or college savings? Credit unions are all over it. A financial institution that offers all this with amazing benefits? Yes, it does exist.

Banking Options

Visit www.jdcu.com if you’re in the market for any of the accounts named above.

Simply put… credit unions are just better.

There is a reason the phrase “The Credit Union Difference” exists. Let’s break this down. You get little to no fees for having your accounts, free online services, incredible employees that give back to their communities, higher interest earnings on savings accounts, lower interest rates on loans, and some credit unions are even part of a network where you get free ATM transactions if you’re not close to your credit union but need access to cash. Banks appear bigger, more popular, safer and more credible but that doesn’t mean anything when it comes to actually delivering the best services. Appearance isn’t everything, people. Credit unions want to provide the best to their members FOR their members. Banks want to earn a profit so they can please their current shareholders and gain more for their own well-being.

Did I convince you? If you’d like to find a credit union near you, whether you want to join or simply learn more, you can use the search tools at  http://www.asmarterchoice.org/ or http://www.culookup.com/ to get started!

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