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Today's consumers have a full range of options when choosing products and services. And a shrewd shopper considers their choices and weighs their options in order to obtain the best product for their specific requirements.
Unfortunately, its obvious many consumers do not always do their research when it comes to where they keep their hard earned money. There are many banking options but research tells us that over 65 percent of consumers would not switch banks even if they had a negative experience or life change.
If you are currently banking with one of the "big banks" and are not happy with their services there are numerous reasons to consider banking with a credit union. If you're not quite convinced they can be the right path for your finances, here's a breakdown of the benefits of banking with a credit union.
Personalized Customer service
Because credit unions are banks for the people by the people and have smaller memberships than the typical larger institutions, you are able to get customized personal service. It's much more of an intimate relationship than you would have at a traditional bank. The credit union employees actually know you and are invested in your success as a member. That's because their focus is on making every consumer interaction a personal one, void of lines, long phone waits, and canned responses.
Since they serve their local communities, most of the time branches are not available outside of their service area. To make up for that they sometimes reimburse members for ATM fees or offer a shared ATM network if members have to go out of network to have access to their money.
Credit unions are owned and operated by their members. The minute you make your first deposit, you will have voting rights.
Lower Account Fees
They also have fewer fees across the board because they have lower overhead costs. Because they are typically smaller operations than big banks they can pass their overhead savings on to their members. According to Bankrate.com more than 75% of credit unions offer free checking, compared to 40% of banks. And many don't stop there. They even pay members rewards in the form of high interest or dividends, cash back, and other perks, like ATM fees refunds.
Monthly maintenance fees are lower and members don't have to keep as high a balance in the accounts to escape these fees.
Serving the Underserved
Credit Unions serve those that are usually locked out of the traditional banking system. This covers the large number of immigrants in communities that would otherwise not have access to necessary financial services.
Supporting the local community
The money that is deposited in your local credit union supports its members and the local community. They channel funds back into the local economy in the form of loans in support of small business, home purchase and loans that help members accomplish their financial goals.
They offer higher-yield savings and checking account rates. Good luck finding an interest-yielding bank account at a megabank. They yield next to nothing for their account holders.
Employees aren't pressured to meet unreasonable sales goals. So rest easy, no one is going to open a secret account behind your back.
Your money is no more safe at a big bank than it is at a local credit union. Just like the FDIC at a traditional bank, deposits up to $ 250,000 at a credit union are insured by NCUA – a federally backed agency.
They take time to know their members. You'll be a name, not just an account number.
Credit Union's have come a long way from their once obsolete style of banking. Today, the technology used at a credit union is just as advanced as a megabank. They have online banking options that feature mobile check deposit, smart chip cards, mobile apps, online bill pay, e-statements and more.
If you're looking to move your money from a traditional bank to a credit union, what's holding you back? I would encourage everyone to research their local credit union to see what they can offer. If nothing else, it's worth opening a checking or savings account. You'll pay less in fees and get more personalized service.