A Credit Union is a financial cooperative that offers traditional banking services like checking accounts, savings and loans. It differs from a bank in that it is not for profit and is owned by its members. As a result, the profits made by credit unions are returned to members in the form of lower mortgage and loan rates, fewer service fees and higher interest yields on savings and checking accounts.
Unlike banks, which are for-profit organizations, credit unions are exempt from paying corporate income taxes and must only generate enough earnings to cover day-to-day operations and increase earnings every quarter. That gives them more flexibility and a better ability to offer competitive banking products, lower fees, and higher-than-average interest rates.
In addition to higher rates, the community-focused nature of many credit unions makes them more likely to provide lower borrowing and deposit account rates. They are also known for their excellent customer service, a fact backed by studies showing that they are often ranked higher than banks in this area.
Getting started at a Credit Union Hillsboro is typically much easier than opening an account at a bank. While membership requirements vary, they can include a workplace or community affiliation; being affiliated with an organization such as a labor union or homeowners association; or living in a geographic region. Some credit unions also require you to have a family member who is already a member.
While a Credit Union is an ideal choice for anyone who meets its eligibility criteria, it isn’t for everyone. Those who don’t meet the requirements might find that they can only access a limited selection of products and services. It’s important to consider these limitations and whether they make sense for you before deciding to open an account.
One thing to keep in mind is that most Credit Unions operate only within a geographic region or have a specific group of eligible members they serve. That could limit your options if you travel frequently or have a particular lifestyle. Additionally, Credit Unions don’t always have the same expansive ATM networks as banks.
Depending on your needs and the types of products you want, a Credit Union might be worth considering as an alternative to a bank. Just be sure to understand the full range of products and services offered before choosing one over another. If you do decide to join a Credit Union, remember that your deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). That means you’ll get back up to $250,000 should anything go wrong with the institution. If you have questions about your coverage, contact the NCUSIF directly to learn more. You can also use the NCUSIF’s Share Insurance Estimator to determine how much your account is protected. And as you shop around, remember to compare rates and fees before selecting a provider. The best deal may not be the cheapest, but one that fits your needs and budget.