Why a credit union? We know…credit unions get a bad rap. According to an informal survey we did a few years ago, some of you described them as old, antiquated, and tacky paneling. Ouch.
But here’s the deal. Credit unions are not like that at all. Some may not be fancy schmancy…but do you know why? Credit unions are not-for-profit banks. They have the same services like checking and savings accounts, loans, and credit cards…but the difference is that credit unions don’t make money.
Credit unions spend their money on their customers, who are members and owners of the credit union. Yup. Members own the place where their money is. Cool, huh? But that’s not all…a credit union member can serve on the credit union’s Board of Directors. YOU can help determine the direction of the credit union. LIke a little democracy.
Credit unions members are 98 million strong throughout the world, 640,000 of them are right here in the Sunflower state.
Credit unions are about people, community and financial literacy.
Credit unions care about their members. Did you know the whole reason they were invented was to serve people? The credit union philosophy is “people helping people.” Awww…doesn’t that make you want to just hug it out? Start a bromance? Sing Kum bah ya? It’s an “I love you man” moment. Money made by the credit union goes back to each member through lower fees and higher rates of return. Money back in a member’s pocket.
- in 2013, Kansas credit unions saved members $56 MILLION. Sa-weet!
- Kansas credit union members can save at least $30,000 over their lifetime simply by using a credit unions! Cha-ching!
Focus on Financial Literacy
Your money is important. But a lot of us need some help managing it. What? Not you? Come on now…you’ve got a great financial plan that you follow every day? Yeah, we didn’t think so. That’s why we’re here. Credit unions can put you on the path to financial health and success. It’s called financial literacy.
Many have financial counselors on staff to review your household finances and they’re not afraid to tell you that you not having the latest iPhone is a #FirstWorldProblem. They help keep on track so you can become master of your domain…no contest needed!
Credit unions start preaching financial literacy early too…in elementary school. We feel you gotta start with the kids, teach them something worthwhile, otherwise they’ll be posting selfies all day or turn their brains to mush playing Minecraft.
Vital to each and every Kansas community
Location. Location. Location. Credit unions are Main Street, not Wall Street. Have you ever seen a credit union staff person parading around in an expensive suit, driving a Maserati? Of course not. In fact, we had to look up how to spell Maseriti…because it’s kinda out of our league. Credit unions employ people you know…your neighbor or your 4th grade son’s best friend’s mom. A credit union is invested in the community they serve. They want to contribute to it, and make it a great place to live. They are the do-gooder next door, constantly helping others in their community. Credit unions are about social responsibility, not financial greediness.
Joining a credit union
Most people can join a credit union near them. It just takes a little research. Credit unions typically serve groups of people who have something in common—where they live, work, or attend church, for example.
- Using your zip code or geographic location, search asmarterchoice.org for a credit union near you. Or view an alphabetical list of all credit unions in Kansas.
- Check with your employer. Often, you’ll find your company has access to a credit union.
- Family matters. Most credit unions allow family members to join.
- Ask your neighbors. Sometimes just by living in a certain county of city can get you into a credit union.
Safe and sound
Look for this logo. Credit union members’ deposits are insured up to $250,000 through the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a government agency like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) used by banks.