Everyone has a choice when it comes to where we keep our money. Many people use banks because that’s what they are familiar with. However, credit unions offer a different approach to banking, including many benefits for members. Before deciding where to put your money, you should understand the operational and philosophical differences between credit unions and banks.
Forbes List of America’s Best Credit Unions lists iQ #2 in State
Everyone needs to be concerned about their credit. Building credit is necessary in order to obtain a credit card, buy a car, buy a house, rent an apartment, or even apply for a job. Chances are that you are already building credit, whether you are aware of it or not, and maintaining a good credit score is important as your life changes. Being proactive about building your credit can open new doors for you as you plan for the future.
If you are already a member of a credit union, congratulations! You have discovered the benefits of credit union membership and what it means to be part of a larger financial community. If you have never belonged to a credit union, then you are missing out. You will find local credit unions across the United States, and chances are that you’re eligible to join a credit union community in your area.
Have you ever wondered what it means for a company to be employee owned? Basically, it means that the people who work for the company each own a piece of that company.
Having pride of ownership tends to promote better customer service and a drive to be the best. In many ways, the same is true of credit unions. Because credit unions are member owned, they tend to have a greater stake in their community and take pride in helping members whenever possible.
American Express coined the slogan, “Membership has its privileges,” and that slogan couldn’t be truer than when you are a member of a credit union. Unlike banks, which will accept anyone as a customer, you need to qualify to join a credit union. There are usually certain conditions you have to meet to qualify, and as soon as you join, credit union membership offers a wide range of perks that will make you glad you chose to become a member.
Have you ever thought about the difference between a bank and a credit union? Banks are part of a national or global business with local branches that offer financial services such as checking and savings accounts, mortgages, and loans. Credit unions offer those same services—checking, savings, retirement accounts, mortgages, loans. But credit unions serve a specific region or group, and they don’t have customers; they have members. The biggest difference between banks and credit unions can be summed up in a single word—community.
Welcome to the credit union movement. Back in the day, when big banks roamed the earth, member-owned financial cooperatives were practically unheard of. If banking were a popularity contest, Bank of America, Citibank, and Wells Fargo would have won 10 years ago. But times are changing. These days, it seems customers value personality over professionalism. A genuine connection versus being just a number. In fact, members are more likely to recommend a credit union over a bank. It could be because credit unions have stepped up their marketing, or are based locally, or know members by name when they walk through the door. In any case, there’s a reason so many people are switching from banks to credit unions. If you’d like to join the movement, here’s how.
Whether or not you’re on board with the trend, technology is taking over. This is the age of iPads, iPhones, Androids, laptops, fingerprint ID, and face scanners. This wave of technology has even merged with finances. Just look how far online banking has come in recent years—and the same goes for money-transfer apps like Venmo. Trying to save money? There are apps that help you do that. It’s amazing how so few people come into branches to do their banking now since almost everything can be done online or by using an app.
Well, this is awkward. Normally we’re used to guiding members to reach certain financial goals. It’s rare that financial institutions talk about what happens after—once you’ve finally reached financial independence. Some people spend their whole lives making deposits into a savings account, just waiting for the day that the grand sum is enough. But enough for what? To quit a job? Buy a house? Pay off student loans? The question is, what’s the right move after you’ve saved enough money—and then some? This matter is highly subjective, considering financial goals vary from person to person, but let’s explore some options.