Is there any reason NOT to join a Credit Union?
The last couple of years have made it very clear that the “Big Banks” have totally given up on any pretense of customer service, ethics or care. Between outsourcing of client relations to foreign countries an predatory lending practices, its obvious the banks don’t care about the “little guy”
But is that enough reason to take your cash out of a Bank and start an account with a credit union?
1. Barriers to Entry
Credit Unions have been traditionally only available to members of specific trades or organizations. Labor Unions, Autoworkers, Government Employees, Teachers etc. This first reason for not joining a credit union is actually a red herring. There is still a common conception that credit unions operate under a strict members only membership model but the restrictions on what makes up a member have changed considerably over the last decade.
Many regional credit unions are happy to accept you into their Credit Union if you share a geographic zone, work within a target area or even just attend church there!
Most Credit Unions have a very flexible acceptance policy these days.
2. Sometimes Behind the Ball in Technological Options
When I get a paper check (yeah, people still do that!) , I open up my android phone, open up a Bank Of America App and cash the check instantly via taking a picture. I check my balance in two or three button presses and can incorporate the account into many 3rd party finance services, such as Mint.com
This is great. When I lose my card, or a fraudulent charge occurs, a quick phone call (if one is good at automated menus) gets me to a human, 24/7 and I get the issue corrected instantly
Your card is in the mail!
Dont worry, that charge has been blocked and all funds credited to your account!
The Credit Unions dont tend to have that level of technical superiority, often actually needing you to show up in person.
3. Show up in Person
When you do show up in person, the credit union tellers often actually know who you are! It might not quite be time to get rid of your traditional banking if yo liek mobile and online features, but it is time to start supporting your local credit union and experiencing what “service” means
(no, its not just a charge the bank hides in the fine print of your statement each month, at least its not supposed to be.