I recently wrote about the benefits of credit unions, but I also wanted to share our personal experience using credit unions so you better understand why I recommend them for everything from mortgages to daily banking.
It’s a great time to consider switching your banking to a credit union. As 2013 comes to a close you’ll likely assess your spending habits, interest rates, and investments, so why not add your bank to that list? Going into 2014 with a financial plan in place can be extremely helpful both to your bottom line and to help you reach your goals.
Credit Unions are local.
Supporting small and local businesses is important to me. What better way to support local business than banking with the same place that will offer your favorite local haunts business loans, affordable interest rates, and more? As a small business owner myself I appreciate that my accounts are just as important as the multi-million dollar accounts.
Credit Unions offer fantastic customer service.
With our credit unions we aren’t lost in a ‘big bank’. We’re treated with the upmost respect and given excellent customer service. Due to the size of these ‘small’ banks you won’t feel like another cog in their money machine-rather your local tellers will get to know you on a more personal level and questions from the most basic to the most complex can easily be answered without having to talk to multiple employees.
Credit Unions save you money.
When it comes down to basic math you’ll find that most often a credit union will save you money-and really isn’t that what a bank should be doing? I’d much rather bank somewhere that doesn’t charge ridiculous fees for no reason. In addition their rates are simply better. Debt is cheaper-loans and credit card interest rates are often lower or competitive with other types of banks. Investments and savings accounts also generally offer better return on your investment.
“Why did you choose Credit Unions?”
I was asked this question recently by a reader and thought this would be the perfect place to respond. We started banking with Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union in 2001 when my husband got his current job. Their is a branch in his office building and after a terrible experience with a large bank we decided to give it a try. It was incredibly convenient for him to deposit checks or take out cash, and our experience was such that we have stuck with them for over 13 years. In the years since we first opened an account with FMFCU we have used a variety of their services including our current mortgage, a loan, and checking and savings accounts.
Their service is amazing. I’ve had fraud issues before and while some banks might make you jump through tons and tons of hoops and wait to get your funds back , I was able to secure my missing funds in a matter of 24 hours after a brief phone call.
Just this week I was alerted to fraud on my debit card and it was shut down. A quick visit to the bank (since I was headed there anyhow) and I have a new debit card arriving in just 3 short days. It took all of 10 minutes to take care of, and I didn’t have to wait to see someone-just walked in and sat down and got to it!
Additionally we had a car loan through Citadel Federal Credit Union and we liked their service and rates so much that when we bought another car we took our loan out through them again. When it came time to open a business checking account and savings account I opted for CFCU because of their service, locations, and the lack of fees. Every dollar helps when you’re a small business owner!
Now is the time to evaluate your 2013 finances and see what improvements you can make-so take some time to look into your local credit union options.
“Make Your Money Matter” is a grassroots campaign introduced by eight credit unions from across the country and PSCU that aims to educate a new generation of consumers about the wealth of benefits credit unions provide over big banks.
“The campaign focuses on the fact that credit unions are built around strengthening communities by providing low-interest loans and giving all their profit back to members, truly ‘making your money matter,” said Fredda McDonald, Executive Vice President, PSCU.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Make Your Money Matter, in association with PSCU, though all views expressed are my own.