If there’s one thing that people tend to think of first when it comes to their finances, it’s definitely where the money is stored. A lot of people might wonder why you would even think about a bank when there are other things to think about, but there really are things that you need to consider here. First and foremost, where you store your money matters – after all, it’s not something that the bank is doing out the goodness of their own hearts. In order to loan out money, the bank has to have money of its own to loan out. If they don’t have that, then it can be hard to satisfy loan demands. In other words — the bank needs you to make money of their own. They aren’t giving out interest free loans, you know. This means that you will need to still think about where you put your money, because the bank is only focused on its own profits.

It’s not that the bank really doesn’t want to give you the best deal possible. However, you have to understand that banks are run by shareholders. That means that they have to focus on a profit — which usually means more fees.

There has to be a better way to get things done than just doing whatever the bank wants you to do. Thankfully, there really is — for example, you could drop out of the traditional banking system completely and go with a credit union. There are multiple benefits for going towards a credit union than a regular bank.

First and foremost, credit unions are actually non-profits. Everything that they bring in goes directly to benefiting their customers — called members. That’s not just for show, as credit union customers are actually part of the company. They get dividends and they can also vote on decisions that the credit union has to make. Keep in mind that you might have to hold significant holdings in the credit union in order to actually exercise these practices.

There are also requirements that have to be met in order to be part of the credit union. Usually you have to actually be in the community itself — so you need to live somewhere within the vicinity of the credit union. However, if you move away you don’t have to lose your account — you get to keep your account for life, even if you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get a membership.

Now, you might not see this as a benefit at first, but it is actually a lot more powerful than you think. Let’s say that you have a problem with your account — you can actually talk to real people that might have even seen you. That lends a nice home town feel that lends itself well to great community service. Customer service is a huge benefit that credit unions have right and banks often fail. It’s hard to focus on customer service when there are really so many different things to actually think about. you will still need to focus on your own financial goals in order to make sure that you’re choosing the right products for your needs.

Most people that get with credit unions also report that it’s easier to apply for and receive credit products. If you have a great idea for a business and you need payment processing, the credit union that you bank with can usually help you faster than the traditional bank. Credit unions realize the needs of their community and also the overall income landscape. If they know that things are tight, they aren’t going to make their fees as high as other places might.

Overall, it’s a great time to get an account at a credit union. If you’re not sure where to begin, you can actually look at your city’s chamber of commerce for a listing of credit unions in your area. Even if you don’t have a credit union in your direct city, the next town over will usually be able to help you with your credit union search. Residency requirements are usually done by county, which means that you will eventually find a credit union that will help you with all of your financial needs — why not get started today?

By Jasmina