Banking Systems

Why Join a Credit Union?

What is a credit union? A credit union is a cooperative financial institution. It is a non-profit organization that is owned and controlled by the members. A good number of the people who belong to a credit union share a commonality  such as working in the same company or attending the same church or place of worship. A credit union is somewhat like a bank. However, it differs in the way the business operates and the people who take part in decision making. Basically, credit unions let the members gather their savings, allow members to borrow from the savings, and let them take part in the group’s governance.

Now, the next question is: Why should a person join a credit union? Clearly, community banks and other financial establishments can offer an individual similar service. And so, here are some of the advantages of joining a credit union that will help interested individuals have a better grasp of what a credit union really is and how it works to provide the services.

  • Member-owned

The simple act of creating an account in a credit union gives you the title of “member”. On the other hand, when you are a member, you are also part-owner. What this means is you can cast your vote regarding the persons you prefer to be part of the Board of Directors as well as in certain policies that need member voting. Further, you also get the opportunity to give your voice regarding the kind of fiscal services that the union may consider offering to members.

  • Financial services selection

With a credit union, you get the option to open a savings, checking or money market account. Plus, these accounts allow direct deposits as well as wire transfers. You can even get a credit card with low or non-existent annual fees and with low interest. In addition to these basic services, a credit union also offers credit counseling, financial education, investment services and notary services. Generally, you do not get these things from many banks.

  • Lower fees and better interest rates

Credit union members get the perk of enjoying low fees on checking accounts and credit cards. Since they were started, credit unions have had no annual fees attached to credit cards offered. Plus, these organizations also place ATMs that do not charge fees in strategic locations. The downside, of course, is that credit union ATM machines are generally lesser in number than those provided by banks.

Now, because a credit union is a non-profit organization, it will offer higher interest rates than most banks on savings accounts like CD deposits, money market accounts and certain kinds of long term savings accounts. These attractive interest rates are because credit unions want to pass the profits to the members.

  • Excellent customer service

Due to the fact that the customers of a credit union are also members, the employees of the credit union can also be expected to be stakeholders. Just like with other organizations owned by employees, the standards of service can be expected to be exceptional. For instance, customer service for a school credit union for Council Rock teachers has been ranking higher in customer service ratings than local banks in the area.

When you join these institutions, you stand better chances of benefiting from the best money market rates in Central Bucks, plus, you can also expect to receive excellent service in every transaction you make with the employees. Decisions regarding lending for 15 year mortgage rates to Yardley members and the kinds of checking account promotions for Newtown members are usually determined by the residents of the communities and the banking officers. The best credit union in PA is generally determined by member surveys and total assets.


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