Money & Career
Credit Unions – A Banking Alternative
3/1/2019 12:00:00 AM

Banks and credit unions have many of the same offerings:  checking accounts, savings accounts and loans for people and businesses. Your money is safe and protected at both. (The FDIC insures up to $250,000 in banks, and the NCUA insures the same amount at federally-insured credit unions.)

The biggest difference between a credit union and a bank is that a credit union is a nonprofit cooperative owned by its members. There are no outside investors or stockholders trying to make as much profit as possible, like at a bank. Any profits made by a credit union usually are passed on to members through more interest paid on savings accounts and lower rates on loans.

Another difference is that there are requirements you must meet before opening an account at a credit union. It could be where you work, where you live or other conditions.
True, offering financial products and services are essential for credit unions, but the impact on the surrounding community appears to be just as important. 

Morgan Daniels of CSE Federal Credit Union says their services are offered with a "people-first philosophy.” "We think ideas like people before profit, social responsibility and financial education improve lives," said Daniels. "This is a movement that’s helping your neighbors and people around your community grow and thrive and follow their dreams. Wouldn’t you want to belong?"

Allison Dipboye of Barksdale Federal Credit Union also believes joining a credit union is part of a "movement." "This movement is the idea that we can all achieve a better way of life by people pooling their savings together to create loans for neighbors, co-workers and friends," said Dipboye. "It’s people helping people."  

Kim Richard of Access of Louisiana Federal Credit Union agrees, stating their credit union is primarily about people. "Credit unions reinvest in their members," said Richard. "We’re accessible: when you call a credit union, you will likely speak to a local person in a local office, someone you may already know – a familiar face who knows you by your name and doesn’t treat you like a number."
Community, member ownership, lower fees and perhaps better customer service. This is what your local credit union may offer. If you are considering opening an account, be sure to do your research to find out about the specific products and services it provides.

Posted by: Gena Latrell | Submit comment | Tell a friend


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