What Credit Unions Can Offer That Big Banks Can\'t

Author: BankFeeInsider.com     Monday, September 08, 2014 12:00 AM

Since the economic downturn in the United States and the drama that played out with large, national banks in the immediate aftermath, more and more people are turning towards credit unions for all of their banking needs. There is a common misconception that credit unions have a large number of disadvantages because they are so much smaller than a traditional bank. After all, it must be incredibly difficult for a small, localized financial institution to compete with a bank that has thousands of locations all over the country. This is just one of the many misconceptions people have about where they are putting their money. Credit unions can offer a large number of different things that big banks simply cannot match.


One of the major factors that credit unions can offer that big banks can't involves the interest rates that you get on certain lines of credit that you might take out. Personal loans, hoe equity loans, auto loans, credit cards and more will all commonly have lower interest rates than what you would find at a competing larger bank for the same principle amount. The converse is also true: credit unions tend to offer higher interest rates on savings accounts, CDs, money market checking accounts and more.


Another major benefit that credit unions can offer that most big banks can't has to do with the personalized experience that you get while banking. When you keep your money in a large bank, you're essentially no different from any other customer. No bank has ever succeeded or failed based on the happiness of a single person. If you aren't happy with your large bank, there commonly isn't much that will be done about it as you aren't likely to affect their bottom line in any significant way. With a credit union, however, you are more than just a customer based on the very nature of the way these businesses operate. Because credit unions operate on a not-for-profit basis, you are more like a stakeholder than you are a customer. Customer service and the user experience are of the utmost importance to the people you're doing business with, which will lead to a much more pleasant and mutually beneficial experience overall.


Another benefit that you'll get by doing business with a credit union over a larger bank is a sense that you are truly making a difference in your community. Most credit unions engage in some type of community outreach program, which is another one of the benefits that is made possible thanks to the fact that they are non-profit.

Source: BFI