Credit Unions

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CREDIT UNIONS – SOMETHING SMARTER

You have heard of Credit Union’s are the way to go, but you already have a checking account at a bank. How is a bank really different from a credit union? Should you move your checking account to a credit union? And then there is all the negative news lately about what banks are doing to consumers. It’s all very disheartening. Should you be concerned?

The short answer is YES! You’re not alone. Many Americans are worried about where they choose to put their money and who they bank with. They are looking for something smarter, like a credit union.

As a credit union member, you can expect to have a more rewarding experience. Because credit unions are member-owned and not-for-profit, they are more attuned to the needs of their members.

While banks and credit unions offer nearly identical services and account choices, there are some huge differences.

Account fees

To the unsuspecting consumer, big banks may not feel like money-hungry monsters. But while they’re happy to hold onto your money, once your account is up and running, expect to get hit with steep maintenance fees. The average bank charges consumers close to $150 each year for having an open checking account.

On the flip side, many credit unions offer free checking or make it easy to avoid the fees, so you can set up your account and keep it running without it costing a dime.

Overdraft fees

Sometimes, you miscalculate the funds in your account and overspend. If you make this mistake on a checking account at a bank, get ready to cough up those overdraft fees!

These fees usually top $30, and some banks will make consumers pay the penalty for each transaction they make while their account is overdrawn.

Most credit unions will be more willing to forgive the occasional error. While some credit unions do charge an overdraft fee, on average, these fees are a lot lower than what banks demand.

Fewer strings attached

Most big banks won’t allow you to open a checking account unless you have a minimum balance of several hundred dollars. In contrast, 76% of credit unions have no minimum balance requirement at all.

Credit unions are government-regulated

Both credit unions and banks are federally governed. A credit union that’s federally insured, like a bank with federal insurance, covers your accounts up to $250,000.

However, credit unions face more government restrictions on their investments and loans than banks do. This means your credit union has to be super-careful with how it invests your money.

Personal superior service

There are huge perks being a part of a credit union verses a huge bank and one of those is personal service. Many credit unions are a part of your community. They treat you like an individual and not just a number. That can make a huge difference when borrowing money. They also care about your financial well-being. After all, your success is their success!

When you stop by your credit union, you’ll be greeted with friendly, familiar faces and representatives who actually care. They’re always ready and willing to help you because they only have your best interests in mind – always.

Why choose a credit union for your checking account? With lower fees, fewer strings attached and better service, it’s the best place possible to park your money! Make the switch.

Sources

Nerd Wallet
Bankrate
Business Insider

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