Credit Unions: Are They Better Than Banks?

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There are a few reasons why more and more Americans are quitting big banks and moving on to smaller, local credit unions.

For starters, a credit union is not an institution that is set up to meet a bottom line. Did you know that when you invest money in a credit union, you are granted voting rights?

This is a far cry from banks, which may make decisions with your money that you don’t necessarily agree with. Unfortunately with banks those are decisions you have no control over, even if it is your money.

Banks tend to be about their own best interests and profit whereas credit unions are largely geared towards meeting customer needs.

This is one reason why a steady stream of Americans are making the change to credit unions.

Another reason is that banks often find ways to charge additional fees to make as much money as possible off of their customers.

The various fees add up can for some customers, making it simply too costly to keep one’s money in certain banks.

Credit unions will often reimburse your ATM fees if you have to withdraw money via an unaffiliated institution.

Compare that to banks who not only fail to reimburse customers for having to use non-affiliated ATMs, but will often charge them an additional fee.

Need a checking account? Upwards of 70% of credit unions have free checking accounts for their customers. Banks? Roughly 39% offer free checking.

Then there are the overdraft fees. Even if it’s a small amount, you may find yourself charged $20 or $30 dollars.

Banks have worked to improve their image on the customer service front in the past couple of years. At the same time, as credit unions are rapidly expanded, some are struggling to meet previous customer service standards.

Even so, credit unions remain on top when it comes to dealing with customers honestly,respectfully, and being more oriented toward customer satisfaction.

Overall, banks are larger and more accessible, but credit unions will keep your money with far less hassle and headaches.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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