Chances are your parents opened you a savings account at their credit union when you were small and you haven’t really thought twice about it since. An account is an account, right? Wrong – when it comes to credit unions vs. banks at least.
We think credit unions and young adults are the perfect match. You’ve got a lot in common, want similar things in life and credit unions will take excellent care of you. If you need some proof, we’ve got it.
Sure, you know they’re two different things – but most people have no idea what makes a credit union different from a bank. The biggest difference is that credit unions are not-for-profit, so any earning they make they put them back into the credit union in the form of better fees and fewer rates for their members. A bank’s profits go to the stockholders. Also, at a credit union you’re a member, which means you’re like a part-owner and have a say in what happens to your money. Plus, credit unions offer the same products, services, ATM access, mobile/online access and security as banks.
The U.S. credit union industry just hit a major milestone – over 100 million members – so you know you’re in good company!
Because they’re not-for-profit, when you need a car loan or mortgage, you’ll almost always find a better rate at your credit union than at a bank. And when loan specialists at credit unions review your loan request, they take a look at you as a whole person, not just an account number on a screen.
Great rates can also be found with your credit union’s credit card. Some studies have shown that credit card rates at a credit union can be up to 20% less than at banks. That can add up quickly!
Everybody likes to felt taken care of and everyone needs a little extra care from time to time. And that’s just what credit unions do best! Need help budgeting? Many credit unions offer free seminars to help. Need help fixing or building your credit? A lot of credit unions have free financial counseling to get you on the right track. And if you’re going through a tough financial time due to an illness or layoff, talk to your credit union they’ll usually work with you. Try doing any of that at a bank!
If you’re like most young adults, you have a passion for giving back to your community and lending a hand when you can. So do credit unions. Credit unions have a “people helping people” mission and it shows in how they give back to the communities they serve. Take a look around, you’ll see them at your local festivals, see their logos on cancer walk t-shirts and you’ll see them at your local schools helping kids learn how to save. If your cause or nonprofit needs a sponsor, talk with your credit union and you’ll probably have one in no time.
Think back to all of the upheaval that happened in the financial world a few years ago. Did you ever hear of a credit union adding to the crisis? That’s because they didn’t. Credit unions have always been careful lenders and driven by their not-for-profit mission. You know your money is safe at a credit union. Plus, credit unions insure your deposits up to $250,000 just like a bank does. Except credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Want to get a better idea of how credit unions differ from banks? Take a look at this cool infographic.