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Membership Has Its Perks

It may seem like joining a credit union is the same as opening an account at a bank, but that’s not true. The biggest difference between a bank and a credit union is profits. Banks focus on building profits for their investors, while not-for-profit credit unions invest that money in you. Here are a few perks you get as a credit union member.

1. Higher Returns on Investments
When putting money into a savings account or other investment account, you expect to earn a return on your money. With a credit union, it usually pays more. If you compare the annual percentage yield you get from banks and credit unions, you’ll notice that rates are typically higher with a credit union. This is because credit unions aren’t trying to skim off the top so they can give their investors some hefty dividends. Instead, they focus on increasing yours.

2. Better Service
When you want to apply for a loan, or you have questions about an existing account, the attitude of the people working with you matters a lot. Joining a credit union makes you a member and co-owner of the institution. This focus puts you at the top of the ladder, not the bottom. Credit unions are known for better customer service because they are centered on the community. It’s like the difference between going to your favorite local bakery compared to a national chain. At one, you’re a trusted friend and vital to their success. At the other, your money is the thing they care about the most.

3. Fewer & Eliminated Fees
You’d be surprised how many financial institutions think you ought to pay extra for the privilege of having an account. If you’re tired of getting dinged 10 times a month for your various accounts, you may be surprised to see how credit unions do it differently. Not-for-profit credit unions aren’t trying to increase profits at your expense. Fees are typically much lower, and oftentimes, you’ll be happily surprised to find services are available at no cost to you.

4. Lower Rates on Loans & Credit Cards
When you think about it, being good at your finances boils down to getting more for your money and paying less for what you need. This means that when you apply for a loan or a new credit card, you want the lowest rates possible. And again, it’s all about the profits.
It’s simple math. If you don’t have to earn significant profits on a product or service, you can charge less for it. This is exactly how credit unions are able to offer some of the lowest rates on loans around. Ultimately, this helps you keep more of your hard-earned money.

5. Ownership
You don’t get to choose who is in control of a bank. If they add a fee or cut a benefit, you don’t have a lot of options. With a credit union, you’re a co-owner who can make a difference in the way it’s run. Credit unions give you a lot of benefits, including the ability to elect board members who will prioritize the issues that matter to you. Plus, major changes to the credit union, such as mergers or charter changes, usually require a membership vote as well.

We’re Here to Help!
If you have questions on the many benefits available to you as a credit union member or would like to learn more about specific financial products and services, we’re happy to help. Stop by the Credit Union or give us a call at 410-687-5240 today. 

Each individual’s financial situation is unique and readers are encouraged to contact the Credit Union when seeking financial advice on the products and services discussed. This article is for educational purposes only; the authors assume no legal responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the contents.