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Credit unions are a great alternative to traditional financial institutions. You might be wondering: If credit unions are so great, why aren’t more people Members? Most people don’t realize how credit unions are different from banks. Here are four practical reasons everyone should join a credit union.
People, Not ProfitsCredit unions are not regular companies. They are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their Members. There are no payments or dividends for outside stockholders as with traditional banks. Instead, any profits are returned to Members in the form of lower rates, higher interest, lower fees, and other credit union discounts.
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Ownership Credit unions are literally owned by their Members. And every Member or shareholder has an equal say, regardless of how long they’ve been a Member or how much money is in their account. Plus, credit unions are governed by a volunteer board of directors, elected by the membership. So Members can be very confident that decisions are made based on Member needs.
Social PurposeCredit unions are a great choice for the philanthropically minded. Because the primary purpose of a credit union is Member service, they are usually very involved in actively helping their communities. If you want to give back to your community, becoming a Member of a credit union is a great place to start. Being a part of an organization that focuses on building a thriving community is a clear credit union advantage, and one many Members are proud of.
It’s Easy to Become a MemberIt’s surprisingly easy to become a Member of a credit union. One of the most common requirements for many credit unions is simply that their Members “live, work, or worship” in the community wherein the credit union is located. Other credit unions grant membership based on employment or organization affiliations like social groups or places of worship.
You generally have to make a small initial deposit to become a Member and get a “share” of the credit union. And most of these deposits are as affordable as only $5 or $10. It’s a small price to pay in exchange for many credit union benefits.
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