An Alternative to Banks: How to Choose a Credit Union

Banking with a federally insured credit union has its privileges. Similar to community banks, credit unions offer more personalized banking relationships. They also cater to a smaller market and offer better lending opportunities.

Unlike big banks, credit unions have more flexibility when addressing their client’s individual needs.

These financial institutions are created for a specialized market. Often times they are directly associated with a large business sector like government entities, universities, and corporations.

Although they are designed for a certain population, there are additional ways you can open an account. Keep reading for tips on how to choose a credit union.

How to Choose a Credit Union: Determine Your Eligibility

To open an account with a credit union you must have an affiliation. Employees of a company that hosts a credit union automatically qualify to apply for an account. Privileges are then extended to their spouse and dependents.

In many cases, you simply need to be able to prove a relationship with an existing member. This courtesy extends to parents, siblings, and in some cases aunts, uncles, and cousins.

For the institutions with the widest range of acceptance, consider joining a credit union that is attached to a religious institute or college.

Explore their Services

Chances are if you’re thinking about joining a credit union it is for the great rates they offer on accounts. Perhaps you hope to purchase a home or car in the near future. Or you want alternatives to traditional banking for a small business.

Credit unions are known to offer lower loan interest rates. This could be a great way to take out a small loan to rebuild your credit.

Another popular trend to look for is the coveted Christmas Club account. This is an alternative to borrowing money for the holidays. You open a special savings account and commit to a set per pay period amount that is automatically deducted from your paycheck.

You can learn more about the credit union by giving them a visit and sitting down with a banker.

Technology is a Huge Factor

Because credit unions are such a niche market a branch may not be nearby. When exploring this option you will want to look into alternatives to accessing your money.

Some institutions enter into agreements to form service centers. These centers allow members belonging to the network to complete banking transactions at designated locations.

ATM’s and online banking are other important features to look into. With the growth of Apps, consumers can do so much more without visiting a physical location. Checks can be scanned and deposited from your phone, and money transfers can go to individuals and other banks.

Are you Ready to Join?

Knowing how to choose a credit union can get you an account quicker. Once you are in you can enjoy the many benefits of being a member.

If you are looking for a loan let us know. We’d love to help you find one that is right for you. Check us out for help in getting the cash you need.

Joshua graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Economics and has been a credit analyst ever since. He works alongside our team by providing his expert outlook on various online lenders and credit providers.

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