Credit unions offer the same services for managing your money as banks, but, thanks to their structure, they can also often provide benefits that traditional banks can’t match. If you’re considering moving your money to a credit union, you are likely to have some questions about what to expect. Here are the answers to questions prospective members have most frequently about credit unions.
How are credit unions different from banks?
Banks are for-profit institutions, so they act on behalf of their shareholders to earn profits from the services they provide to their customers. Credit unions are nonprofits, so they are owned by their members. Any profits generated from business activities are invested back into the credit union to provide services to their members. Since credit unions don’t have to deliver a profit to shareholders, they are typically able to offer better interest rates on their products, from savings accounts to auto and home mortgage loans.
Is it difficult to become a member?
There is a credit union for virtually everyone. The trick is finding the one that is right for you. Some credit unions offer membership to people based on their employment, while others base membership criteria on where you live. There is almost certain to be a credit union for which you qualify for membership. Once you meet the membership criteria, joining is as simple as filling out paperwork to open your accounts.
What services do credit unions provide?
Credit unions offer checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, and credit cards just as banks do. You will have access to ATMs, online banking and bill pay, mobile banking, and all of the other financial services you would expect to find at a financial institution. The difference is that credit unions can consider their members’ financial position as a whole when making decisions about things like loans, unlike banks, which must stick to a prescribed formula.
To find out if credit union membership is right for you, contact GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon. We offer membership to residents of a number of counties in Illinois, with a comprehensive list of financial services . Contact us today at (618) 797-7993 for more information about joining our credit union.