Credit unions are more popular than ever, with over 112 million Americans making the switch. In fact, there are over 5,000 credit unions across the U.S., with each one existing to benefit its members. Despite this, many people still have misconceptions about credit unions. As credit unions continue to gain popularity, we’re debunking some of the most common myths and misconceptions to help people decide if joining a credit union is for them.
1. Credit Unions are not Real Banks and Offer Less
People often assume credit unions are lesser, alternative versions of banks, but that’s not the case. A credit union is a not-for-profit financial institution owned and operated by its members. In many ways, they work like a bank, but members are typically attracted to credit unions’ generally lower fees, higher savings rates and ability to influence the organization. For instance, Louisiana USA is equally owned by all of our members. Instead of focusing on our stock value and pleasing executive board members, we are entirely devoted to helping our members.
2. Switching to a Credit Union is Difficult
Though change can be difficult, credit unions like Louisiana USA make it easy! As a financial organization for people and not for profit, all of our services are centered around helping our members right from the start. With just five easy steps, you can become a member of Louisiana USA and say goodbye to your old checking account. View and download our simple Switch Kit to make the switch from your current banking provider today!
3. It’s Hard to Find a Branch or ATM
Though credit unions have fewer branches and ATM locations than big banks, they’re usually part of large ATM networks that offer free access across the country. As member-based nonprofit organizations, credit unions typically have a cooperative nature. It’s actually one of our principles at Louisiana USA. We strive to make banking easy through our shared branching network. By working with other unions across the country, we have branches and ATMs throughout the country to ensure our members always receive convenient service. We even make finding the nearest ATM painless with our ATM locator.
4. Their Rewards Programs are not as Good as Banks
Unlike big banks, credit unions do not advertise their perks and rewards aggressively. This causes many people to assume they are just not as beneficial. In reality, most credit unions offer rewards programs in addition to an array of membership benefits. For example, at Louisiana USA, we offer rewards programs with our Louisiana USA Visa credit cards. Our members also have access to a wide range of valuable benefits and services designed to make the banking experience exceptional, like financial counseling and continued education, online services, family eligibility and more.
5. Money in Credit Unions is not Insured
Unlike big banks, credit unions are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Instead, they are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an independent federal agency that does more than insuring deposits. It also regulates credit unions and protects members/owners and charters. At Louisiana USA, our members’ savings are federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government with the same security standards as big banks.