Many people don’t know about all the great benefits that credit unions offer. Unlike regular banks, credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives. Our shareholders are our members, which allows us to offer better rates, more personalized service, and many other perks.
Valley Credit Union is participating in a campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of credit unions, which is why this post will focus on credit union awareness and how a credit union can help you achieve your financial goals.
How do credit unions work?
Although credit unions operate differently than banks, both offer many of the same financial services and products, including banking services, loans (auto loans, mortgages, etc.), credit cards, account security, and more.
So what’s the difference between a credit union and a bank? The key differences come from the fact that we are entirely member owned. We only work for our members, which means...
- No large corporate salaries
- Higher dividends for our members
- Better loan rates
- More interest on your savings (2.3 times more, based on June 2019 money market accounts)
- No hidden fees
Who can join a credit union?
Joining a credit union is much easier than most people realize! You just need to find one you qualify for.
Some credit unions are based in their local communities, while others are affiliated with a specific school, church, company, or other organization. For example, Valley Credit Union is based in Salem, OR, and our membership is open to businesses and individuals in four Oregon counties: Linn, Marion, Polk, and Yamhill. We make it easy to switch from your bank to us — it’s a simple 3-step process. You can get started here.
If you don’t live in our area, there’s a good chance you’ll qualify for at least one of the thousands of other credit unions throughout the country. Here are some quick facts about credit unions from yourmoneyfurther.com:
- 99% of Americans are eligible to join a credit union
- 115 million Americans are already benefiting from a credit union
- The United States is home to more than 5,000 credit unions
- 96% of credit union members prefer the experience of a credit union vs. bank
You don’t have to sacrifice convenience
Many people worry that, because credit unions are smaller than most mainstream banks, they’ll lose convenience and flexibility if they switch. You may actually find the opposite to be true!
We work closely with many other credit unions and businesses to offer a wide variety of benefits and services to make banking fast, easy, and safe for our members.
For example, as a credit union member, you get free access to ATMs across the country (no fees) as well as online and mobile banking, so that you can access your money on the go anytime, anywhere. Valley is also part of a shared branching network that allows our members to transact their business at over 5,600 locations nationwide.
At Valley Credit Union, we work with many trusted businesses to give our members benefits like added security, easy-to-use mobile apps, insurance options, auto consulting services, debt protection, and more.
We care about our members
You're not just another account number to us. We are fully invested in our community. We understand that our members are individuals with their own goals, plans, and aspirations, and we're proud to say that our members know they can always come to Valley Credit Union for practical and honest financial advice.
Maybe you want to…
- Find out what kind of mortgage is right for you
- Improve your chances of being approved for your first auto loan
- Start chipping away at student loans or credit card debt
- Figure out how to finally take that family vacation to the East Coast
- Lean about college savings options for your kids or grandkids
We're here to help you make it all happen.
Do you have more questions about credit unions?
We’re always available to answer your questions, talk about your financial needs, and help you decide if a credit union is right for you. Stop by Valley Credit Union anytime! You’ll find us on Mission Street in Salem, OR, or you can contact us right now to get started.