One of the best things I ever did for my life is join my local credit union. On my journey to better credit, it was my credit union what helped me strengthen my score and while spending less money on interest and on benefits like auto insurance. For the first time, I am walking into a bank filled with people I recognize and who recognize me, and I am receiving personalized service. For the first time, I belong to a bank that helps me with my goals, and isn't just interested in gaining interest from my money and charging me a slew of unnecessary fees. Though, I still keep a portion of my money in a large bank, I am sold on the benefits of keeping my credit union.
Here Are a Few Benefits:
- Unlike banks, which operate for profit, credit unions are member-owned, democratically run nonprofits. That means you’re more than a customer; you’re a member, and you get to vote on board directors and other officials. Each member’s vote carries equal weight, regardless of deposits at the credit union.
- Credit unions’ not-for-profit status lets them distribute their profits to members through returns on savings and investments. As a result, credit unions provide higher average returns on a national level than traditional banks do. Credit unions’ average rates for savings and loan products beat or tied those of traditional banks in every category.
- Credit unions charge lower fees on average than traditional banks as well.
How My Credit Union Helped Me:
- By opening a savings account and depositing $500, I was able to then apply for a secured personal loan. By paying off that personal loan (using the funds in my savings account), I was able to establish additional good credit.
- Once it was time for me to buy a new car and trade in my other one, my credit union was able to pre-approve my loan. Therefore, I was able to walk into the dealership with more ease and control, knowing my bank was backing me.
- My pre-approved auto loan came with the lowest interest rate I'd ever seen in my adult life –– 4%. In the past, because of my low credit score, my vehicle interest rates were always over 18% and usually around 24%.
- Once my care deal with completed, my credit union offered me the lowest auto insurance rate I'd ever seen on a luxury car. The eve members a special ate through a well-known insurance company that, without the credit union's help, quoted me a $370 monthly insurance rate for my car. In working with the credit union, I was offered a rate of $125 per month, instead.
Take the time to open an account online with as little as $10, for many credit unions. It's completely worth it.