Apr 30, 2009

Why consider Credit Unions?

Wait ... before reading ahead, do you already know of Credit Unions? Even if you know let me share a recent experience with you, if you haven't done so you may want to consider your nearest credit union in your decisions as well:

I recently purchased a new car and applied for a car loan with the auto maker. Unluckily I got approved for an interest rate of 7.7%. Then gloomily one day when I opened a savings account at my nearest credit union, I brought up my new loan interest rate with the branch manager. I simply said "can something be done in this matter?" She ran my credit report then and there and, to my amazement, shared my credit score with me; guess what it was, (an excellent) 745. I immediately realized my first mistake that I should have checked my credit reports before applying for the car loan. Anyways, I never expected what happened next. Then the manager acted so pro-actively in my interest that it didn't feel like I am in a financial institution anymore. I instanatly got approved for a car loan of 5% (that's a straight 2.7% drop) with the credit union and my loan with the auto-maker was soon paid-off by them.

Let me explain what a credit union actually is: A credit union is a cooperative financial institution formed by a group of people with common interests of promoting thrift and providing cheap and reasonable financial services to community.

Some facts which you should know about credit unions are:
  • Credit Unions thrive on the money pooled-in by a group of people (its members) and provides low interest loans to the members. It shares the profit with its members as dividents
  • Credit Unions are generally non-profit organizations
  • Credit Unions see its members as partners and not as customers
  • Credit Unions are mostly run by volunteer boards
  • Like FDIC insures customer's money at banks, the same way NCUA (National Credit Union Administration) insures members's money at credit unions.

The facts that credit uions are non-profit organizations, work and share its profit with the local community, ... usually result in higher rates for savings, checking and CD accounts. I am aware of the high yielding savings and checking accounts available online but if you prefer not to get into those monthly restrictions to get the interest, you may want to consider credit unions.

Rest apart, my observation tells me that atleast CD rates are mostly above the national average at credit unions. If you dig in a little bit more, your credit union might have even more to offer. After all these lines if I didn't tell you where you could find nearest credit union, I wouln't have done my job. Click here and punch-in your demographics and you will see a list of nearest credit unions.

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