1. Better Rates. Credit unions offer many of the same products and services as banks, but credit unions often have better rates on loans and better interest rates on deposit accounts. Credit unions are not-for-profit. When you join a credit union you have to pay a small fee into it as a shareholder. That makes you an owner of the credit union and because of that, you’re entitled to benefits. (Last year, members of Georgia credit unions enjoyed $130 million in member benefits they would not have received if they’d conducted their business with banks).
2. Lower Fees. It seems as if every time bank customers turn around, they’re being hit with more fees. Credit unions have lower fees. In 2012, credit union members each saved $69 in fees over what they would have been charged by banks.
3. Federally Insured Deposits. Credit unions are federally insured by the full faith and credit of the United States government. The National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) insures members’ deposits up to $250,000.
3. Free Checking. Fat chance of finding a bank that has totally free checking these days, but most credit unions still have free checking accounts for members.
4. Convenience. Many credit unions offer online banking and most belong to networks that include ATMs and shared branch locations. If you go to any credit union that is part of their network, you will often receive no fee ATM transactions. Even if you do pay a fee, it’s going to be a lot cheaper than traditional bank fees.
5. Commitment to Service. With a mission of “people helping people,” credit unions are at the forefront of serving members on a variety of fronts. Year after year, credit unions receive the highest marks in the financial services sector for customer service. They serve the greater community through activities like supporting education, raising funds for charity and participating in disaster relief efforts.