Why you should go Credit Union

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Hi Guys! Guess what? I’m a dot com now! If you could please change your bookmarks to www.4hatsandfrugal.com, I’d really appreciate it, and so would my blog stats lol. I feel like a real blogger now, all fancy owning my own site and stuff. Onto the post…

photo credit: eHow

With the emphasis on thrift, savings and economy in America and the world right now, we have to really look at what’s good for our financial improvement. Whether you are focused on personal finance or just keeping up your frugal lifestyle, we have to pay attention to who’s holding hostage our money.

I don’t know why it took us so long to join a credit union. After seeing what they offer and their focus on community building and thrift, it seems like the perfect place for us. After our final encounter with Wells Fargo that I blogged about, I’m so glad that we finally took the leap.

What is a Credit Union?
A Credit Union is a “member owned financial cooperative, democratically controlled by it’s members, and operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at competitive rates, and providing other financial services to its members.” That’s a great definition from Wikipedia, but what does it exactly mean?  Basically, it means that you are the one in charge of how your money is taken care of. You elect the board of directors, and that board of directors decides on the interest rates. Hmmm….democracy banking. I love the sound of that. Also, because the credit union focuses on the well being of their customers, they tend to have better customer service and are able to help you One-on-One to build up your credit, or even work on any type of loan, including a home loan.

Why is this for me?
Of course a credit union is not for everyone. Some people are comfortable with their banks that they have been with for years. But, I’m learning fast that with national banks, your loyalty and their loyalty never match. This is not the case with a Credit Union. They are literally there for YOU, not their profit. This is great for frugal/finance people like us. We are in this lifestyle to be able to stretch our bucks as much as possible, and to be able to live debt free or on as little debt as possible. Bank fees, high interests and companies out for profit just don’t mix with that.

Why did we change?
Well, we didn’t have much of a choice in the matter, but we have been talking about changing to credit unions since we got serious about owning our own home. Our goal is to pay as much cash as possible for our house, but with the kids growing so quickly(and the growth of both my Husband’s business and mine) we need to move sooner than expected. The credit union is here to help. Actually, because my Husband works for the state, there is a Credit Union dedicated to helping those workers build credit and get low-interest loans. The military also has certain credit unions dedicated to this and they are used quite frequently when we finally decide to stop using base housing and own our own home. Thanks to Credit Unions, we are now on a solid path to owning our first home….and being able to afford it.

Obviously, don’t take my word for all this. It always pays to do your own research about anything, especially banking. I just wanted to put the idea of being part of a Credit Union on your radar and maybe get you to think about where your money lies. With all these bank mergers, it just might pay to do a little digging on your part. You’re your own best teacher.

This is not a paid post. These are all my own opinions. I’m sharing what I’ve learned from a recent experience and what I learned about Credit Unions.

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

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  1. 5.30.12

    Small, local banks are good as well, if you can find one. They don’t have all of the options of a credit union, but the customer service is there.

  2. 5.30.12
    Alex M said:

    We financed the trailer (now paid off) and hold our mortgage through a credit union. They do not re-sell your loan and as a result, you are treated better in the end. They can offer very competitive rates too!

  3. 5.31.12

    When I lived in Florida, I joined a CU and it was a great experience. I haven’t done it up here but have thought about it. I like the bank I have now because it doesn’t have a lot of fees and is literally everywhere. But thanks for the reminder.

  4. 5.31.12
    JennysMom said:

    Love my credit union! They know me by name, EVERY time I come in. They even encouraged me on my 9-month journey of losing 108 lbs and commented each time on how different I looked.

    Anyone who reads this: Can you say that about your BIG bank? Do they really care? (They only care about making as much money as possible off of you.)

    My mortgage on my new home was sold the very first day to (evil) US Bank. I do have 30-year fixed @ 4%. Yippee, but they are clueless about customer service. And they won’t let me pay my property taxes without raising my rate to 4.25%–even though I’ve paid in full and on time for 18 months. First bank ever I’ve had that won’t do it without raising rate.

    May refinance with CU for 10-year mortgage @ 3%! They don’t resell, and there are no fees.*Gulp* the big question is can I pay it off in 10 years instead of 30? I have an appointment with the branch manager next week to look at options.

    Last week, my CU branch had a Money Machine if you brought in a new customer. I signed up my daughter as she’s off to Rome/Australia for a year. I kidded the CU manager I would bankrupt them with how much money I would grab. Haha! I walked away with SIX dollars! Epic fail, but we all laughed…

  5. 5.31.12

    I, too, bank with a Credit Union here in St. Louis and I love it. We’ve been with them for almost 2 years now and I can honestly say, I don’t miss all of the fees and runarounds from the other big banks.

  6. 7.25.13
    Margo McCann said:

    There is so much to learn about credit unions. I have heard the good and the bad about them. I am moving out to Oklahoma City and I have been told to do some research on credit unions in OKC because they can be really helpful. This is a great post to get me started.