Five Reasons You Should Choose Credit Unions this International Credit Union Day
While we celebrate International Credit Union Day this week, we wanted to share some of the reasons smart consumers have been choosing credit unions to help them reach their financial goals and dreams. Credit Unions started with a cooperative spirit, the idea of people pooling their money to help each other and their community succeed. This not-for-profit financial cooperative movement allows members to save and borrow at better rates and lower fees. And, credit unions focus on financial education to help members make the best decisions for their financial future. Here are five ways credit unions help you:
Lower Interest Rates and Better Terms on Loans
Credit unions are member-owned, everything we do is for and because of our members. We are not-for-profit so all earnings above operating expenses are returned to our members in the form of lower interest rate loans and better terms. Our primary focus is enriching our members’ lives by helping them reach their dreams. When a member applies for a loan we look at their full financial picture to see which loan is the best fit for them – we even have a Lending Solutions Manager who assess all existing loans to see if we can refinance them, often saving years of payments and thousands of dollars over the life of their loans.
Smarter Savings and Checking*
We know saving is hard so we made it easier. We offer automatic transfers to your Smart Savings account, which earns 6.50% APY up to $650. It’s a great way to jump start savings and keep your savings habits going.
And just as important as savings, we know members need a smart way to manage their spending. We offer a Smart Checking that pays you – 1.51% APY up to $10,000. The account comes with a free debit card that earns reward points redeemable for gifts, gift cards and travel. We even refund ATM surcharges up to $25 per month.
If you have the desire and lots of free time, read a fee schedule from any of the large banks and you will be astounded at what they charge for you to have the pleasure of banking with them. Monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance fees, paper statement fees, transaction fees, ATM fees – even fees to cash in your change. The worst part is these fees most affect those who can’t afford them. If you have limited income or savings, these fees can turn into a financial disaster.
Credit unions tend to charge fewer fees and when they do, they are often less and coupled with a free financial coach to help you avoid them in the future. Choosing a free checking account, overdraft protection from a personal line of credit or credit card, and account alerts to avoid fees in the first place are just some of the ways credit unions support and guide members to solid financial choices.
Free Financial Education and Personal Coaching
Credit unions are invested in our members and that means investing in the education and personal coaching members need to grow their financial future. We offer free online education through short, interactive modules on topics that matter to you, no matter what stage of your financial journey. We also have LIVE, virtual webinars where you can ask questions or request one-on-one coaching. Our financial coaches are certified financial counselors and work individually with members to help them plan and save money with the right loans and deposit solutions. Our approach is casual, non-judgmental and 100% for the benefit of our membership.
Credit unions exist for and because of our members and community. Unlike banks which are forced to comply with the Community Reinvestment Act, a rule to prevent banks from gauging their customers and harming their communities, Credit unions give back voluntarily – because it’s the #CUDifference.
Credit unions regularly give of their time and donate, sponsor and support community organizations that help our communities. Global employees give thousands of hours of volunteer service each year and annually, we close our branches to work in our community for our Working for a Purpose Community Day. In 2021 we focused on combatting hunger, holding a successful food drive and working in food banks and community organizations that support feeding those in need in our community.
This International Credit Union Day, we celebrate all the ways credit unions have helped communities. On October 21, 2021, our global credit union family will join together to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of ICU Day®! This year's theme is "Building financial health for a brighter tomorrow."
To expand on that vision, World Council is hosting a virtual event on October 21 that will feature presentations on financial health and all the complexities associated with that term for credit unions and their members. Click here to learn more and register.