3 Things You Need to Know about Credit Unions
Posted on September 18, 2017
Topic Categories: Banking
By Eric Ketcham - Chief Operating Officer, Cinfed
People have many options for financial services and the number of choices can be confusing. For most, it boils down to personal preferences – where they’re comfortable with the service they receive and the financial products they need.
Credit unions, however, are sometimes not considered because they’re not understood. Since International Credit Union Day is in October – and since Cinfed is a credit union – it’s an opportunity to highlight three basic facts about credit unions that everyone should know.
Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives.
Unlike commercial banks, we have a volunteer board of directors. While commercial banks have shareholders who receive profits, credit unions invest back into the organization to provide additional benefits and opportunities for members. This generally results in lower fees and lower rates on loans and higher rates on savings in comparison to commercial banks.
You may already be eligible to be a member.
Credit unions do have membership requirements, but these days it’s not necessarily tied to an employer. For example, Cinfed is a community based credit union, so membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school or regularly conducts business in Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, or Pendleton counties in Kentucky; Brown, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton or Warren counties in Ohio; or Dearborn, Ohio or Union counties in Indiana. Additionally, immediate family members, domestic partners and those living as an economic unit in a household can join.
Credit union services are accessible and available across the country.
Like other financial institutions, credit unions offer convenient 24/7 access through ATMs, online banking and mobile apps. Through an agreement with AllPoint, Cinfed members can use 55,000 surcharge-free machines across the U.S. for ATM access nearly anywhere.
At Cinfed, we believe our approach to service sets us apart as well. Our members are welcomed by name when they visit their local branch, and they appreciate seeing the familiar faces of our staff. Knowing our members well means we can customize recommendations to meet their specific needs. Credit unions aren’t exactly like other financial institutions, it’s true – but for many members, that makes all the difference.