By Marking Coordinator, Alina Murcar
The title of this blog alone has probably already lost two-thirds of people because let's face it, who wants to read about financial institutions in their free time? Well, my co-worker Jon does, but he's a weird exception hah! It's such a taboo thing to talk about finances with people who don't intimately share money with you, but I'm breaking that barrier for the benefit of my friends and family (and for myself) because only half of "millennials" aka 20-or-30-something-year-olds actually know about credit unions. That blows my mind. So I hope my passion and knowledge for these not-for-profit organizations will educate those who still may be on the fence!
I'd like to "debunk" a few misconceptions about credit unions:
"Credit unions don't have enough locations, and I travel for school/work and need access to share finances with my family."
Credit unions all around the nation are part of this cool thing called the Shared Branching Network. That means, you can go into pretty much any credit union and do things like withdraw funds, transfer funds, make loan payments, deposit checks (which you can also do on almost all credit union apps saving you the trip), and so much more.
Locations Example: I'm a Spokane Federal Credit Union member. I can go into any STCU, Global, Progressions, BECU, WSECU and access my account with just my ID and my member number. BOOM.
Transferring money example: Instead of using Venmo or Square Cash, most credit unions have the capability to transfer funds without a fee, to anyone you'd like (just like the aforementioned apps). I just did it the other day to help pay for my friend's bachelorette party.
"I get great rewards and/or flyer miles with my cards from my bank."
You do with credit unions, too! Plus, you most likely won't have to pay any of those pesky annual/monthly fees because credit unions are AMAZING like that.
"I'd like to switch to a credit union, but I just haven't had the time to yet!"
Guess what? You can literally become a member at pretty much any credit union ONLINE! Even if you don't actively use it at first, just getting your foot in the door will help you witness the difference of credit unions firsthand.
Just do it. You will not regret it.
"I don't know if I qualify to become a member of a credit union."
So here's the answer to the title of this blog. Credit unions are member-owned which means they work for the benefit of their members vs. big banks that work for certain people (aka their shareholders with a lot of money) in their company. Your credit union gives back to the community and gives back to members by providing lower interest rates, higher dividends, and more rewards!
Best of all? Hardly any FEES.
So there you go. I've blogged about my nerdy fan-girling over credit unions. Queue the yawns and eye rolling. ;)