Americans, we are generally a hardworking lot. We have spent the last few years trying to heal and emerge out of the challenges that came with the devastating Great Recession. A period of damning economic challenges, the Great Recession had us think on how best we could plan our financial and economic lifestyles. As a result, we had to plan how we spend our monies. We had to avoid buying until when it was very necessary. We developed the urge to save rather than spend and borrow. It is now a common fact that our economy is heading the right direction in terms of growth. We are almost hitting prosperity once again and it is the best time to understand the value of every dollar that comes our way. Through the experience we have from recent years, the dollar in our hands can have its value influenced depending on how we save, spend, invest or borrow it. It is at this point where the issue of credit unions comes in. Credit unions, not-for-profit organizations, can help not just us but our friends, relatives or just about anybody we care about.
It is possible that, as you are reading this piece, you may have come across or heard about a credit union before. They are all over the place nowadays and you surely may have seen commercials of them in the popular media in America. You probably have a friend, a relative or just anybody close to you being a member of a credit union. You may be considering to join a credit union anytime soon and I can assure you that it is your next big step financially. An alternative to big banks, these organizations can help you save big and increase your income.
This is a step by step description of what credit unions are and the benefits they will have on your financial life.
1.Credit unions operate as not-for-profit organizations. They are owned by members (YOU) who join them and the earnings made by these unions are returned to these members as loans with minimized interest rates, improved returns on deposits and reduced or removed membership fees. Records suggest that over 100 million Americans are registered as members of credit unions.
2.It is estimated that members of credit unions in America save a combined $7 BILLION by choosing credit unions over for-profit financial institutions. On the other hand, bank customers save an additional $2 billion per years. This difference is because credit unions operate in a not-for-profit setting. It is the competition that exists between credit unions and banks that maintains the balance because, without credit unions, banks would charge more and nothing could be done about it.
3.Credit unions offer similar services as banks, but unlike banks, are owned by those who subscribe to their membership guidelines. Unlike banks that are in for the best and highest profit possible, credit unions strive to offer their members the best services.
4.Credit unions are more democratic and liberal than banks. Unlike banks, credit unions have their board members elected by the membership of the credit unions. So, there is a promise that the board members hold the issues of the credit unions with the highest possible regard. Of even more importance is the fact that all credit union members have a single vote. Unlike in banks where members vote based on how much they have invested, credit union members have an equal vote which means fairness and proper representation.
5.Your money is secure with credit unions just like it is with the banks. The NCUA insures credit union money for up to $250,000 per a member just like the FDIC insures the money in banks.
6.Credit unions across the United States cooperate with one another in order to enhance the quality of the financial services that they offer. As cooperatives, they participate in shared branching networks. This allows their members to use other credit union branches and access over 30000 free ATMs distributed across the United States. So, you do not have to worry about where you live or about moving to another city because you can still access your credit union.
7.No other organization compares to credit unions when it comes to giving back to the society. These unions serve the community with a zeal and passion that make them very attractive to others. The offer small business loans to people in the community; people who may have been denied such loans in some other financial institutions. The credit unions undertake community outreach programs more than all other financial institutions. They support children hospitals, they deliver equipment to schools and help inmates in various prisons reform and fit back into their societies. Most of those who work with credit unions volunteer most of their time to voluntary programs. It is what defines the good work of credit unions with members who push themselves to build themselves safer and better communities.
8.There are many credit unions you can join. You can here to search and join a credit union of your choice. Anyone can join so you can give it a shot and most likely, you won’t regret it.
Now that you know, you should decide how you want to influence the value of the dollars that come your way. Would you let others earn profits from it instead of letting your dollars help you amass wealth? Now that you have the information about credit unions, it is up to you to decide whether to join one and positively transform your financial predicaments or not.