Choosing the correct financial institution has a major impact on financial stability. Credit unions, which are located nationwide, have grown in popularity due to the unique benefits they offer. To help you choose the right financial institution, this article compares nationwide credit cooperatives to big banks. Visit NationwideCreditUnions.org before reading this.
1. Owning up and being accountable
Members own nationwide credit unions, which is to say that, when you join the credit cooperative, you are a shareholder with voting rights. Unlike big banks which tend to be shareholder-owned, credit unions are owned by members. This difference often leads to credit unions prioritizing the members' needs over profit margins. Meanwhile, big banks are more likely to prioritize shareholder returns.
2. The Interest Rates, Fees, and Charges
Credit unions offer competitive rates for savings, credit, and loan accounts. While big banks offer higher interest rates and charge lower fees on saving, they tend to be more expensive. You may want to choose a credit-union if your goal is to reduce fees while earning more from your deposit.
3. ATM Access
Big banks typically have extensive ATM networks that make it possible to obtain cash virtually anywhere. Even though credit unions in the United States may only have a few ATMs, many of them are part of shared ATM networks. This allows members to access a wide range ATMs without paying hefty surcharges.
4. Customized Service
Personalized service is what makes credit unions so popular. The staff of a credit cooperative is likely to get to know you better, helping them to provide more personalized solutions. The size of the big banks can make it difficult to provide personalized services.
5. Financial Education
Credit unions prioritize financial education. Many offer educational materials to members and resources for them to make more informed decisions. The big banks might provide some education material but they focus primarily on financial services and products.
6. Get involved in your community
Credit unions play an active role in local community activities and are involved with charitable work and other initiatives. Big banks contribute to community initiatives but may not show the same local involvement.
7. Technology and Digital Services
In general, big banks usually have more technological resources. They may also offer a wider variety of digital services and apps. The technological sophistication of credit unions has improved in the last few years.
8. Branch Network
The physical branch network of large banks is usually larger, making in-person banking easier. Some credit unions have fewer branch locations, so you may consider them if your in-person banking needs are important.
It is important to note that the decision of whether or not you choose a nationwide bank or credit union depends upon your financial priorities and needs. Credit unions provide a community-centric and member-centric service with lower costs and more competitive rates. Meanwhile, big banks have more advanced technology, more branches and more branch locations. Determine which options best suit your requirements by assessing your financial goals. Credit unions and large banks each have unique strengths that can be used to provide value-added services for their customers and members.