RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--When it comes to personal financial security, a recent Zogby Interactive survey of consumers rated bankers less popular than politicians. But consumers don’t have to rely on big banks as their primary financial institutions (PFI). There’s an army of 8,000 credit unions representing 90 million members in the United States alone, ready to offer a convenient, secure alternative.
To help choose a PFI, financial advisors often recommend making a list of what’s most important to you. CO-OP Financial Services, a credit union-owned provider of the CO-OP Network and other services, has established its own list –
The Top 10 Reasons to Choose a Credit Union Over a Bank
10. Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives owned by members, not stockholders. That means their whole reason for being is to assist the financial wellness of their members.
9. Credit unions are operated by the people in your community; serving the local community and being involved in community causes is a point of pride for credit unions. Since 1986, the industry’s Credit Unions for Kids program has generated $75 million for children’s hospitals, and the monies raised by individual credit unions go to hospitals in their area.
8. Credit union resources are returned to their member-owners in the form of lower fees and forward-thinking products and services. Big bank’s profits are funneled into expensive national advertising budgets and huge executive compensation packages.
7. Credit unions are a more personalized way of handling personal finance. As the economy becomes more complex, credit unions are streamlining their loan procedures; you’ll have a better chance at securing personal and small business loans at your local credit union.
6. Credit unions provide what people want most in financial services. In 2009, more than 1.2 million Americans joined a credit union, and credit unions now have nearly 10 percent of the country’s household savings.
5. Credit unions’ interest rates on credit cards and loans are lower compared to big bank rates. And, free checking is alive and well at many credit unions. Deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.
4. Through CO-OP Network, members have the nation’s largest network of credit union ATMs – 28,000 surcharge-free locations (9,000 of which accept deposits)! And credit union service centers provide 4,000 nationwide shared branch locations for consumers.
3. Credit unions have the latest hi-tech personal finance tools, such as banking via mobile devices, helping them provide unprecedented access and convenience.
2. For more than 20 years, customer satisfaction with credit unions has consistently rated higher than for big banks. In fact, these surveys find credit unions to be the most trusted segment of the financial services industry.
And the number one reason for choosing a credit union over a bank for your personal finance needs?
1. At most credit unions, membership is open to anyone who wants to join and the benefits begin immediately!
“Credit unions are outperforming big banks, and gaining members because of it. In 2009, consumers saved $7.3 billion by using credit unions rather than banks,” says Stan Hollen, President/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services. “Credit unions combine with the neighborhood friendliness and access that is so hard to find elsewhere with the services and technologies people want most. One of the earliest credit union slogans was ‘not for profit, not for charity, but for service,’ and that philosophy holds true today.”
About CO-OP Financial Services
Based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., CO-OP Financial Services is the industry leader in access and convenience products for credit unions. Nearing 30 years of credit union service, CO-OP connects credit union members to their accounts through network services, payment processing, e-commerce, CO-OP Shared Branching and call center services. With a total of 3,000 credit union members, 30 million cardholders, 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs, 4,000 shared branch locations and 160 million-plus monthly transactions, CO-OP Financial Services is the nation’s largest credit union service organization, offering the tools, counsel and leadership to help credit unions prosper. To learn more, visit www.co-opfs.org. Follow CO-OP on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/COOPFS and keep up with industry issues via the CO-OP Insight Vault blog at: http://co-opinsightvault.com.