Why Choose A Credit Union Over A Bank

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Many people think a bank and a credit union are the same.  This is not the case.  A bank is a for profit public financial company owned by its stockholders.  A credit union is a non-profit financial cooperative owned by its members.

Credit unions offer most of the same financial products offered by traditional banks such as checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans, mortgages, certificates of deposit, etc.

In order to become a member of a credit union  you may have to be a member of a particular group of people, perhaps a professional association, state or local agency, live in a particular area, or some other requirement.  Usually all members of a credit union have something in common.

You are insured by the Government against loss up to $250,000 with either a bank or credit union.  Banks are insured by the FDIC or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.  Credit unions are insured by the NCUSIF the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.

Usually a credit union will charge a lower rate of interest on loans and credit cards than the banks.  Credit unions usually pay a little higher rate of interest for savings accounts.  This is because as a non-profit financial cooperative the profits are funneled back to the members which can result in the lower fee charges.

Many credit unions still offer free checking accounts while these are becoming more rare with some banks.

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Many credit unions are part of the CO-OP Network which give credit union members access to fee free credit union ATMs all over the country.

Credit unions are run by people living in the community.  They pride themselves on being active participants in various community causes.

Members of the Board of Directors of a credit union are voted for by the member of the credit union.  Each member has one vote.

You probably will not have the 24 hour a day access to customer service you have dealing with some of the big banks, but you will receive individualized personal service from the credit union.  The credit union will work with you as a member to help when you need either a personal or small business loan or perhaps a mortgage.

Credit unions were started with an emphasis on providing service to its members and this same attention to personal service remains today.  Credit unions rank much higher than banks when it comes to satisfaction with the customer service provided.