5 Benefits of Banking With a Credit Union

Author: BankFeeInsider.com     Friday, August 22, 2014 12:00 AM

The banking industry has gone through so many changes in the past few years that many bank customers are less than satisfied with their banking experience. They may be frustrated by exorbitant fees, impersonal service, and more limited product choices. Some of these customers are turning to credit unions as a more client-focused and less fee-driven alternative.

Banking with a credit union can be a positive experience for those looking for high levels of customer service, limited fees, and flexible products. Here are five of the biggest benefits to banking with a credit union:

1) They're owned by members. When you bank with a credit union, you're not just a customer; you're also a shareholder. That means the credit union is focused on providing the highest level of service to you, not the biggest profits to stockholders. Some credit unions even allow members to vote on big policy changes and product offerings.

2) They have lower fees. Since the credit union exists to serve its members, it tries to keep fees as low as possible. That means they often have no ATM fees, very low overdraft fees, and little-to-no account maintenance charges.

3) They have better interest rates. Again, credit unions don't have to worry about reporting earnings to stockholders. Instead, they can reinvest those earnings back into the credit union and their members. Many choose to do that by offering interest rates on savings accounts and CD's that are substantially higher than those offered by big banks.

4) They can be flexible with their products and services. Credit unions are usually smaller than big banks and that often works to their members' advantage. Individuals who are seeking loans are often able to meet directly with the loan officer. They can explain their needs and goals and the loan officer may be able to structure the loan to their situation. In this respect, credit unions are often able to extend credit to those who would likely be declined at a big bank.

5) They offer protection on your savings. Some people believe that credit union accounts aren't guaranteed because credit unions aren't a part of the FDIC. This isn't correct. Credit unions offer the same $250,000 guarantee on savings and checking accounts and CDs that is offered at traditional banks. The guarantee is backed up by the National Credit Union Administration.

If you're frustrated or disappointed with your service at your big bank, perhaps it's time to consider a credit union. You'll likely find lower fees and more personalized service.


Source: BFI