More and more people are switching over to credit unions for the financial products and services that they usually receive from their banks. Banks are for-profit entities that work for the benefit of their stockholders. The 7,700 credit unions in the Union States are not-for-profit, and they work solely for the benefit of their members who number more than 92 million (Brenner, 2010, p. 26).
A comparison between banks and credit unions easily convinces a potential customer to give credit unions a try. Credit unions offer many advantages, going over and above what your bank might limit itself to doing. It is not difficult to join a credit union, but membership usually requires a common characteristic among all members. People who belong to the same group and hold mutually shared principles are less likely to default on their loans (Gallagher & Andrew, 2007). Credit unions offer lower or no fees on most of their services. Most credit unions still offer free checking accounts and some of them even pay dividends on such accounts, whereas banks have gradually added more and more fees to almost all financial products and services they provide. Instead of some faceless stockholders, members of the credit union are its owners, and they buy shares of the credit union when they deposit money. A recent survey indicates that credit union customers rate their service quality experience higher than that of bank customers (Allred & Adams, 2010, p. 55).
Credit unions offer numerous advantages and benefits to people looking for options other than regular banks for their financial transaction and service needs. An important aim of credit unions is to improve the local communities that they operate in. Therefore, it is always beneficial to first search around in one’s own community when looking to become a member of a credit union.