Many people are frustrated with the way that the largest banks seem to be nickel and diming their accounts with added fees, additional charges, and low interest rates for savings. A number of these frustrated customers are considering switching to a credit union because they have heard that the credit unions have lower fees and better rates for loans and other credit products. Others are reluctant to make the switch because they believe that banking at a credit union will be more difficult or less convenient. While switching to a credit union is not for everyone, some will find that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Here are some things to think about before making a decision on switching to a credit union.
Eligibility Requirements To Join
Because credit unions are designed to serve a particular community or group, there are some eligibility requirements that must be met to join a specific credit union. In some cases, the eligibility requirements are as simple as living in a particular area or working in a particular industry. In other cases, all of the members of a specific credit union are also alumni of a certain university, members of a religious institution, or are part of a particular profession.
Before making a decision on switching to a credit union, research the different credit unions in your area and determine if you meet the eligibility requirements for any of them. The free website CreditUnionLookup.com lets consumers who are interested in joining a credit union search for credit unions based on location, the name of the institution or a particular affiliation like a profession or employer.
Branches And Automatic Teller Machines
Credit unions have fewer locations than banks, leaving you fewer places to do in-person transactions. However, many credit unions also belong to shared banking networks that allow the customers of each credit union to use the ATMs of all of the other member credit unions without incurring out-of-network fees. In some cases, members can also perform other banking services through the other credit unions in the network. You may also be able to access your credit union account online, giving you many options for doing your regular financial tasks.
Many banking customers stay with their bank because of the rewards that they are a earning for keeping their account with that particular institution, such as cash back rewards, airline miles, and travel discounts. Many people do not know that some credit unions offer these types of account perks as well. The transactions that are made on your debit card or credit card from a credit union will earn points or cash back just the same if you sign up for the appropriate programs. Credit unions that do not offer these perks generally have even lower fees and higher interest rates for savings accounts, giving their members a benefit for doing business with them.