Are you a recent college graduate looking to gain financial independence? Opening an account at a financial institution to manage your money is a great place to start. Of the many types of financial institutions, banks and credit unions are perhaps the most common. So, the question remains as to where you should open an account.
Many recommend opening an account by joining your local credit union because they can offer many more benefits. Here are six advantages of joining a credit union:
Credit Unions Are About People Helping People
Many people, especially millennials, are more likely to support a locally-owned business as opposed to a gigantic corporation. Credit unions are committed to helping their members, not to make a profit for stockholders. Their goal is to serve every member well with products and services that fit their needs and to make sure every member is treated with respect, courtesy, and exceptional service. Most credit Unions offer full service capabilities with nationwide ATM access and mobile banking capabilities.
You’re a Member, Not a Customer
Credit unions are owned by its members. They offer the same perks and services as banks, such as saving accounts, debit cards, loans, and online and remote banking, but the money you deposit at a credit union makes you a partial owner, or member. These funds are then lent back out to members.
Because credit unions are community oriented, they provide greater personal attention. They can more intimately work with members and make decisions based on your personal situation and offer more timely service.
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives. They operate like any business, but what they do make in profit is returned to their member-owners, often through better loan rates, fewer fees and exceptional online and mobile banking options.
Greater Rates and Lower Fees
Since millennials are just getting started in their careers, as well as paying off student loan debt and saving money to move out of their parents’ home, money is understandably tight. Banks tend to penalize those who can’t keep the required minimum amount in an account and may have excessive fees and higher interest rates. Since credit unions are not-for-profit, they generally offer much better loan rates, credit cards, and fewer fees than banks.
It’s Easier to Receive a Loan
It’s generally easier to qualify for a loan at your local credit union because they have more flexible underwriting and have a personal interest in your unique situation. Credit unions realize that most young adults do not have an extensive credit history and take that fact into account when decisions are made.