When you’re trying to put your finances in order, there is no shortage of options. Just watching TV for an hour, you will likely be bombarded with advertisements from various national banks all wanting your business. They will promise free checking, frequent flier miles or even a card emblazoned with your favorite sports team’s logo. But you may not realize that there’s an alternative that can be better than any bank — one that offers more than your choice of debit card designs. Although they may not have bank-sized advertising budgets, credit unions can provide you with numerous advantages over the major financial institutions.
Credit unions, in the simplest of terms, are not-for-profit institutions owned by their members, not shareholders. This means their primary concern is doing what’s best for the people who join them as opposed to making the most possible revenue. Membership is usually via your employer, a family member’s affiliation or your geographic location.
Because they aren’t focused on generating huge profits, the money earned by credit unions goes back to its members. This typically takes the form of lower fees, higher savings rates and lower loan rates when compared to banks. But those aren’t the only benefits of being a credit union member. You will receive personalized service beyond anything most banks provide, because credit unions focus on keeping their customers happy. You’ll also gain the satisfaction of contributing to your community. That’s because these institutions tend to be more involved in local events and supportive of charitable efforts than nationwide organizations.
You have many choices when you’re looking for an institution to entrust with your money. As the national banks squabble to get your attention, don’t let a more attractive alternative get lost in the shuffle. See the accompanying infographic for more reasons why credit unions can be the better choice.
Author bio: Vice President of Marketing Kristin Dove has over 28 years of marketing experience with Pacific Service Credit Union. Dove provides credibility in the ever-changing world of marketing. She has a B.A. in Information and Communication Studies from California State University, Chico, has won numerous awards for her work, and served on many industry councils.