When it comes to your financial account, your first thought when looking to find the best bank is where will your money be the safest, who has the cheapest rates, maybe if you think like me who has more ATMs available in the area and what bank has the cheapest checking account monthly fee. Like every post, I’m here to help you save money! The average American spends about $169.00 a year on bank fees and that’s not including overdraft fees or ATM fees. So roughly your spending a few 100 bucks a year just to have a checking account.
After reading this blog you may just want to switch to a credit union bank and leave your bank behind! A bank is a for-profit financial institution while credit unions are not. Meaning, credit unions are owned by their own members and NOT looking to charge for almost every little thing they possibly can. A bank aims to make a profit off of you and have to pay taxes, so they charge higher fees than credit unions and pay lower rates to consumers.
Credit Unions v. Banks– What’s better for you?
Compared to your commercial bank, credit unions interest rates are lower than bank rates. They offer higher saving rates and lower loan rates than your average bank. In 2018, a new car loan rate would be 3.5% if taken out through a credit union while at your average bank a new car loan is about 2% higher, 5.04%. The goal of the credit unions is to assist the financial wellness for you, making everything more personal when banking with them. So the next time you think of opening a savings account consider a credit union as one of your options to get the most out of your savings account. Credit unions are considered to be a more private bank than commercial banks because like I said earlier they are owned by their own members giving you a better chance of getting approved for a small or personal loan with low interest rates and NOT have to worry about fraud activity happening with your account. When I said making everything more personal a few sentences back, I meant credit unions tend to make you feel like family. You aren’t just “a number”. They alert you with any unusual activity, preventing less fraud activity happen to your account. In 2019 1.4 million fraud reports were reported with commercial banks.(consumer.ftc.gov)
One of the most popular benefits with the credit unions is many offer FREE CHECKING! Commercial banks usually have a monthly fee unless you can keep a certain amount of dollars in the account or have direct deposit, you’d get that fee waved. They also have mobile banking and over 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs all over America. Credit Unions don’t only have checking and saving accounts, you can invest in CD accounts and IRA accounts. Apply to different loans such as car loans, mortgage loan, home equity loans all at lower rates than your usual bank. Most credit unions don’t have their own walk-in lobbies so they do co-op shared branches with other branches. You would have to look for what’s near you, if any.
On top of all the services I informed you of here are a few more great services the credit unions offer…
- Electric Tax Services
- Stock Brokerage Services
- Travelers Check
- Money Orders
- Personal Financial Planning
So I hope I was able to spark a light in you with this information. Remember the goal is to save money by any means necessary! My tip, a tip of #urChoice, before opening any account take the time to read the account disclosures. You will learn about the terms of the account, including any fees if any.
See a penny, grab the penny. A penny turns into a dollar, a dollar turns into a thousand, a thousand one day turns into a MILLION.