When making financial decisions, you need to consider a wide range of factors. It’s important not to take financial advice from a single blog entry.
Disclaimer aside, it is worth noting that making financial decisions sometimes involves making a change when you realize that a past decision might not have been the best one. For example, perhaps you’re currently unhappy with your bank.
You’re not alone if so. According to one survey, only 23% of consumers are satisfied with the quality of services their banks provide. Luckily, you don’t have to stick with a bank forever.
You don’t even have to use a bank at all. You can instead make the switch to a credit union. Credit unions offer the same services as banks, but they’re not-for-profit institutions. Benefits of joining one include the following:
Many find they are treated better at credit unions than at banks. This is likely due to the fact that credit unions are owned by their members. Thus, members make decisions that are best for them.
This isn’t the case at a traditional bank. At a bank, decisions must be made in a manner that protects and grows the bank’s profits. If that means delivering inferior service, that’s what will happen.
You deserve to be treated like a human being, not a customer. This is one of the top reasons to join a credit union.
All credit union members have a say in how they operate. Again, this results in credit unions operating in a manner that most benefits their members. One way this manifests is lower fees. In general, research tends to indicate that the rates and fees of credit union services are often more affordable than those of banks.
Greater Likelihood of Loan Approvals
No one can promise that you’ll be approved for a loan when you apply for one at a credit union. That said, because credit union members are also community members who typically have a general familiarity with the overall financial conditions of the community, in many instances, a credit union may approve a loan application when a bank would not.
This isn’t because credit unions engage in predatory lending tactics. On the contrary, their members are simply more directly familiar with one another than many bank workers are with their customers, and therefore can better determine if someone qualifies for a loan.
Access to Services
This is a “benefit” of a credit union that technically addresses a reason why some are reluctant to join credit unions. Essentially, a common misconception is that because credit unions aren’t large profit-driven businesses like banks, they can’t offer the same cutting edge services and amenities, such as apps that allow users to perform banking tasks on their phones.
That’s often not the case. Many credit unions actually offer the same services as banks, while also offering the same tech-friendly amenities. You’re not sacrificing that level of convenience by joining a credit union.
Again, this isn’t to say that everyone should join a credit union. You must consider your options carefully when deciding how to manage your money. You should simply remember that a credit union could be one of those options.