Why You Should Join a Credit Union
By HeatherB on April 22, 2009
BlogHer Original Post
I'm not one to get all excited about the act of banking. Actually I'm the girl who does every transaction via ATM because why go inside and like talk to actual people? No, give me my ATM card and the ability to make a deposit from anywhere and I'll be pleased as punch.
But do not let my ambivalence towards banking fool you. I seem to have developed very strong opinions about my bank. Strong opinions that have lead to long and bitter diatribes about a certain very large bank that is so big and powerful that it has no problem robbing their customers blind. Then again, that's probably while as the rest of the financial system tanks, Big Bank manages to keep things afloat.
Needless to say Big Bank and I sometimes don't get along. Yes, it's convenient and literally everywhere but the fees and the customer service leave much to be desired. So I joined a credit union. Oh it took a lot of hemming and hawing and whining because I had to go all the way to the bank and I had to deal with people but the pros far outweigh the cons. Pros like the ability to get a loan or a mortgage with a lower interest rate and being able to speak to a real live person and the overdraft fees (whatever, everyone has accidentally overdrafted before so don't give me that tsk tsk look) those are just some of the perks.
There's this ease that comes with being a member of a credit union. I remember the day I went in to open my account and instead of leaving feeling like I had just been impaled, I was smiling. It was refreshing to go in and be treated like an individual as opposed to one of 500 million. I like knowing that despite the sense of fear in the air that my money will be handled with care. Right now I want a little kindness to go along with money security. Is that too much to ask?
Related Readig on why sometimes credit unions are best:
You're sick of getting socked with fees, or tripped by hidden
penalties, or earning lousy interest rates. You're tired of being
treated like a nuisance rather than a customer. And yet you have little
hope that the bank down the street is any better.
But who says you have to settle for a bank? Relief could be as close as the nearest credit union.
The biggest difference between the two is that credit unions are
nonprofits owned by the people who belong to them. Because its
customers are partial owners, it tends to produce a high level of
customer satisfaction. Unlike banks that will often push their products
despite possibly better available options, credit unions aren't focused
on profits and recommend what they think is best for the customer and
not for the institution. Credit unions are exempt from paying most
state and federal taxes and are therefore usually able to offer higher
savings account rates and lower rates on loans.
Credit unions have a reputation for being limited in the services they
offer. This may have been true in the past, but as competition in
financial services has increased, credit unions have diversified their
product and service offerings greatly. Some offer insurance brokers,
investment planners, business loans and counseling, even wireless phone
HeatheB also writes at No Pasa Nada
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