Summer is a season for following your dreams. Whether you’ve been dreaming of a new car, a magnificent vacation, or finally taking the leap to buy a new home; your dreams cost money.
When making the choice where to take care of your financial business, a bank seems like the obvious choice. However, credit unions are an often overlooked option. A credit union is a financial organization that is owned by the members and overseen by the National Credit Union Organization or a state government. Credit unions provide the same financial services as banks, but they also have some unique advantages.
Credit Unions are owned by the Members While it seems like an impossibility that you could be
part-owner, credit unions exist on a different premise than banks. A bank is a privately owned business where you are a customer. A credit union is a cooperative member-owned organization, where you are a member, therefore a partial owner. As a member, you have a right to vote at board meetings on important credit union decisions.
This structure of ownership means there are special requirements to join a credit union. However, there are many ways you can become a member. Some credit unions only accept the employees and immediate family of a certain corporation. Others are designed for teachers or military service members. Some credit unions only require you to live within the area they are located, such as a certain city or county.
Some of these credit unions have the option for you to become a member with a donation to the organization members are a part of. To find out if you can become a credit union member, visit the National Credit Union Organization website to discover credit unions in your area.