A credit union checking account offers lower rates and fees than a bank’s checking accounts. It also provides a more personalized approach to customer service and lower interest rates on loans. In addition, credit unions are owned by their members.
How to Choose a Checking Account
Both banks and credit unions offer a variety of savings and checking accounts. But they differ in their offerings, so it’s important to find the one that best suits your needs.
Generally, banks are more advanced when it comes to their online and mobile banking options. They have more locations and tend to have a wider range of products than credit unions do.
In-person branches and ATMs are a big draw for many people. A bank’s location and proximity to your home or office can help you feel more comfortable and confident about your finances.
While the number of brick-and-mortar branches is declining, there are still some good ones to choose from if you prefer face-to-face interaction with a bank teller or ATM. In addition to local branches, some banks have branches around the country and even internationally.
National banks tend to have more branches and ATMs than regional banks. If you’re concerned about the security of your money, consider a federally insured bank or credit union.
Credit unions are not-for-profit institutions that are owned by their members. They reinvest profits from their financial services into the products they offer.
They also have no need to make a profit, which means they can keep their rates and fees low. This allows them to offer higher savings and loan rates than you’ll see at a large bank.
A Credit Union’s mission is to serve its members by offering competitive financial credit union checking account products and services at reasonable prices, according to the Credit Union National Association. In turn, members vote on policies and decisions that affect their accounts and the way they are managed.
To become a member, you typically must live or work within the credit union’s “field of membership.” It could be based on a certain region, employer or common group, or it may be based on your membership in another organization. In addition to being eligible to open a credit union account, you may have to meet certain requirements, such as maintaining a minimum balance or establishing a direct deposit of your paycheck or other monthly payments.
You can check out credit unions’ websites to learn about their financial education resources and other tools. These are often geared towards helping customers make smarter decisions when it comes to their finances and how to use credit cards or other financial products wisely.
Most credit unions offer a free checking account, but you should always read the terms and conditions to make sure that the account is right for you. It’s best to avoid bank checking accounts that come with a minimum account balance or monthly service charges.
Some credit unions also offer a free digital checking account that lets you access your account through a smartphone or other mobile device. These accounts are often linked to savings accounts or have other features that allow you to manage your finances without leaving your house.