Take a Break From Your Bank
I see me before I worked for a credit union. I had no strong opinion about banks vs. credit unions. I inevitably ran into problems with my bank, but I figured that was just part of the game consumers play with service providers. It wasn’t until I made the switch to American Eagle that I realized everything I had been missing with my big bank. So, on July 2, 2014, I broke up with my former bank for good.
Disclaimer: This decision isn’t for everyone. The choice of a bank is highly personal, so it’s up to you to research the best financial institution for you. However, if you feel as though you’ve been underserved by your bank, here are seven reasons why this spring is the perfect season to break up with your bank:
1. Because credit unions offer the same products as banks, just better: eDeposit? Check. Mobile apps? Check. Online banking? Check. Debit card? Check. Checks? Check. Credit unions offer the same products and services as banks, but the not-for-profit designation means that profits are distributed back to members. Lower interest rates on loans, free checking accounts, higher savings yields, and in many cases profit payouts are all benefits member-owners can look forward to using. Which brings me to my second point…
2. Because you own the place: Don’t like a recent business decision? At a credit union, you can make your voice heard and it will matter. All members have an equal vote on their Board of Directors, regardless of how many products they use or how much money is in their account. You can walk into your local branch for a transaction and you’ll be treated like you own it, and that’s because you do.
3. Because you’re eligible: Although members must meet certain criteria before joining a credit union, chances are you’re eligible. Many corporations have their own dedicated credit unions. For instance, our parent credit union serves Anheuser-Busch employees, and its other division serves Purina employees, along with a few others. Eligibility is based on many factors, such as where you live, work and worship, so you’re likely to be accepted when you apply.
4. Because credit unions are friendlier: According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, credit union members experienced higher levels of satisfaction than bank customers, with credit unions ranking at 85 and banks with 76 (ACSI, 2014). And, because credit unions have such a strong member-focus, you’re much more likely to be greeted by first name when you walk in the door.
5. Because they cooperate with you...and other credit unions: Have to move across the country but don’t want to change financial institutions? Don’t worry-you likely have free access to over 30,000 CO-OP ATMs and the more than 5,000 locations in CO-OP Shared Branch network.
6. Because your money is safe: Just because you’re not insured by the FDIC doesn’t mean your money is unsafe. Deposits are still federally insured up to $250,000, just by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) instead of the FDIC.
7. Because credit unions invest in the community: It’s true that big banks help local economies too, but you’re likely to find a credit union’s roots more deeply planted in your local community. Instead of making risky investments to appease shareholders, your money helps fund someone’s college education or first home. And because many credit unions only exist in one city, credit unions will fight harder to make those investments.
Let’s recap: Credit unions will save you money, invest in your community, and treat you like you own the place. Do you “C.U.” making the switch to a credit union soon? Ask us any questions down below.