Many people are a bit disappointed with their current bank. Some of those same people are hesitant to try a credit union because they have a few incorrect notions about the services that may be offered. Here are five good reasons to try a local credit union.
In a study conducted by DataTrac for the National Credit Union Administration, the rates offered by credit unions were often quite better than those offered by banks. Loan rates were an average of 1.5 percent lower than rates on comparable loans from a bank while savings rates were two-tenths to a full percentage point higher.
Another study, this one conducted by the Pew Health Group, the rates on purchases made with a credit union-issued card were between 9.90 and 13.75 percent. The Pew study also stated that; ”In general, the largest credit unions offered lower rates than did the largest banks.” Most of these cards come with lower fees and fewer of them.
In general, the lending criteria for a credit union is a bit looser than you will find at a bank. One reason is that a member of a credit union is considered to be a part owner. Additionally, credit unions routinely make unsecured loans to members with good credit while most large banks do not offer this type of a loan.
Size matters in many things, but in reverse here. Since credit unions are smaller than national banks, many of them man their customer service hotlines with…wait for it…people. Not only that, but people who speak English as their primary language. I have nothing against foreigners, but I really like being able to understand the person on the other end of the phone when I have question about my money.
Banks are trying to make a fortune on each account. Credit unions are not. Many offer fewer fees in general and most of those are lower than comparable fees at national banks.
It is pretty easy to join a credit union. Many have opened their services to anyone who makes a deposit. Call a local branch to make an apples-to-apples comparison between it and your current bank before making your final decision.
What about you guys? Do you bank with a credit union?