Credit unions are non-profit organizations which exist to provide financial services to its members. The ownership is in the hands of the members, unlike the banks which are owned by the shareholders. The members are the ones who own and control the credit unions.
There are several ways a credit union is actually better than many financial institutions. And despite the fact that it is not necessarily a perfect fit for everyone, there are some good reasons why many people love credit unions, and here are some of those reasons.
1. They do not charge fees for checking accounts
One of the best things about credit unions is that they offer a free checking account option. This means that you do not have to have a large deposit or save a lot of money in your account just to avoid the fees. There are also several credit unions with no debit card fees and they do not require you to maintain a minimum balance. This is not how banks work because some banks require a certain amount that needs to be maintained before you can have the fees waived. Some require a minimum number of transactions in a month just so you can request for fees to be waived.
2. They offer credit-building loans
Compared to larger banks, many credit unions even offer credit-building loans. All you will have to do is to make sure that you make timely payments so that it is easier for you to build a credit history. There is no minimum amount of deposit required. You just have to open a savings account and make a deposit because it is going to serve as the collateral for your loan.
3. They offer free use of ATMs
Most of the credit unions are part of the cooperatives, and this means that their members have a free access to thousands of ATMs which are located in many places across the country. There are even some that can be found in foreign countries. If you sign up for a credit union membership, you will also get to enjoy the privilege of using free ATMs, especially if your credit union is part of the cooperative network. But if not, you can inquire about the availability of free ATMs at the offices of the branches.
4. You earn higher interest rates from your deposits
If you compare credit unions with a bank, you definitely can earn higher interest in credit unions when you make deposits. Why? That is simply because of the fact that unlike banks, credit unions exist not to make a profit from their members. They also offer higher interest rates on savings accounts.
5. You can also enjoy health savings account for free
There are some credit unions which offer health savings account, free of charge. You are also not required to maintain a minimum balance. There are also no transaction fees because it is basically free unlike what you get from a traditional bank.
6. They offer lower interest on car loans
If you wish to purchase a car and want to do it through a bank’s car loan, it is better to do it with a credit union, because interest rates are much lower.
7. They offer a lifetime membership
You get to enjoy lifetime membership in a credit union for as long as you are able to meet the membership requirements. You won’t have to worry about renewal every after a certain period of time.
8. They offer electronic banking services
Credit union members around the world can already immediately access funds wherever they are through mobile and electronic banking.
9. They offer family benefits
Another great thing about credit unions is the fact that member of the immediate family is qualified to join the organization.
10. They prioritize their members
Credit unions are usually connected to the local communities where they operate and this means that their priorities are based on the needs of the community. They are pro-member, which means that they think about the welfare of their members above their own profit. They even take the time to reach out to the population who do not get the chance to be serviced well.