The world of banking and finance can be very confusing to consumers. If you’re anything like me then you probably want to know very little about the banking industry because if you did too deep you might get even more overwhelmed. If you haven’t noticed lately there seems to be a bank on every corner and each one is competing for your business. Most banks are large and profitable corporations that make money from consumers using their banking products which can consist of anything from a checking account to a mortgage loan. The old days of walking into your bank and being recognized by employees feels like a thing of the distant past but it doesn’t have to be. Credit Unions have become more and more popular over the past ten years and you are starting to see more and more of them every year. You might be asking yourself, “What exactly is a credit union?” I am glad you asked because most people don’t know the difference between a credit union and a bank. A credit union is a non-profit co-op whose members can borrow money for low rates. Let me break this down a little further for you. A non-profit corporation is a corporation that isn’t in business for a huge profit at the end of the year. They are able to charge less for their services because all of the money that they make is used only to run the actual business. So in other words, with a credit union, they don’t have high salaried executives on their payroll. Okay, so now that we know exactly what a credit union is and how they are structured, let’s take a look at some of the products and benefit you will see when you have your banking accounts and loans at a credit union.
Who Can Join A Credit Union?
The law requires credit unions to a predetermined field of membership. For example, your local credit union can only serve people who belong to organizations, work for certain employers or live in a set geographical location. However, if one of your family members belongs to a credit union then you will be able to join it as well.
Do Credit Unions Charge You to Join?
You can expect to pay a one-time membership fee of about twenty-five dollars to join a credit union. Once you are a member you will be able to take advantage of their lower interest rate loans, free checking, and free savings accounts.
Can I Still Join a Credit Union If I Have Bad Credit?
Yes, even if your credit is less than perfect you can still join a credit union and open up a deposit account, or checking account, with the credit union. However, they will run your credit to open an account and they will make sure that you don’t have any outstanding or “bad” checks in your name. If they do find that you have either of these things in your name they will more than likely deny your account.
How Do I Find Credit Unions In My Area?
Simple, all you need to do is run a quick search on the internet and search the term “credit unions in my area” and you will be given several results to choose from. Most of the time the result will be filtered by location with the closest credit union to you listed first. No matter what credit union you choose you can rest assure that is a family type atmosphere and you will be treated kindly.