Is your bank unavailable to you when you need them most? Are your needs being ignored? Do you feel that your bank is all take and no give? If so, you might be in an unhealthy relationship with your bank. Banks are not the only place you can open checking accounts and obtain mortgages; credit unions offer services nearly identical to banks, with advantages that banks can’t match. Here are a few of the reasons to love banking with a credit union.
They Will Listen To You
A credit union is a cooperative financial institution. That means that everyone who banks with that credit union is a member and a shareholder. The loans and services offered by a credit union come from the pooled resources (deposits) of its members. Also, because each member of the credit union is a shareholder, members have voting power and a say in the direction and decisions made by the executives.
They Don’t Get Greedy
Credit unions are non-profit organizations, which allows them to focus on providing the services that their members need, instead of generating profits to boost their stock price. The lack of a profit incentive also enables credit unions to pay higher interest rates on savings accounts and charge lower fees and interest on loans. The non-profit status of credit unions makes them eligible for government tax breaks, further reducing their need for member-generated revenue.
You Will Receive the Personal Attention You Deserve
This is perhaps the most popular reason that people choose to bank with credit unions. Credit unions are smaller institutions, and decisions can be made by local management. Not only will the employees of your branch remember your name, but they will be able to respond to your needs or changing circumstances with a simple conversation.
Unlike at a bank, where you might be denied the best rates on a new loan because the “computer says no,” credit union loan officers and managers have the ability to negotiate directly with you because they know you. If you have a less-than-perfect financial history, a credit union will listen to your personal circumstances and work with you to help you out. Also, once you have a history with your credit union, they are more likely to accommodate special needs, such as allowing a temporary overdraft or delaying a mortgage payment.
Of course, all good relationships thrive on compromise. While there are many benefits to credit unions, you may need to relax some of your standards. Because credit unions are generally smaller in size than banks, they usually have fewer branches, fewer ATMs, and fewer online banking options. If these characteristics are not a deal-breaker for you, then a credit union may be a perfect match.