It is likely that you have head of credit unions, but that you don’t know exactly what they are, what they do, and how they can benefit you. Did you know you can get Florida credit cards with a credit union, for instance? However, that isn’t the only benefit of these nonprofit organizations. Let’s take a look!
What Is a Credit Union
A credit union is both the same and the exact opposite of a bank. They are the same in as such that they offer very similar services – loans, overdrafts, credit cards, mortgages – but they are the opposite because they don’t do this for profit. Rather, a credit union is member-owned, which means that all their services go to the benefit of their members, like yourself.
How to Find a Credit Union
Your employer may be providing credit union membership. If they don’t, ask them to change that. Otherwise, you may have a family member who is part of a credit union, and you may be eligible for membership based on that. Lastly, credit unions may be affiliated with alumni, religious, fraternal, or occupational organizations that you are already part of.
The Benefits of Joining a Credit Union
Credit unions are member owned and democratic. This means that, regardless of how large your account with the union is, you are able to partake in how it is governed. There will be an annual general and election meeting, where the Board of Directors are chosen from members. This board sets the annual policies of the union. You can vote on any element of the business, including electing new members, or even running. You can also become a volunteer or be a member of the committees. Every member gets one vote, which is very different to for profit companies, where stockholders get a share of the vote relative to the share of their stock.
Once you are a member, you are a member for life so long as you hold an account. Even if you move jobs or leave affiliated organization, you can continue to be a member.
You access a number of fantastic financial benefits, which for profit banks only allow their stockholders to have. This includes higher interest rates on a savings account, checking accounts with high interest rates, bonus dividends in good year, low interest rates on loans and credit cards, and so on. This is particularly beneficial for young families who are only first getting on the property ladder, for instance. In fact, even equity loans and mortgages are available at a better rate. They also offer much lower closing costs compared to conventional lenders.
Essentially, by joining a credit union, you will get the most out of every dollar you have. You will receive a personalized service, high returns, and low interest rates. It’s not a tremendous surprise, therefore, that some 89 million people in this country are members of credit unions, and that this number is growing.