Right off the bat, we’ll admit it: We’re pretty darn biased in favor of credit unions. We can’t help it, being a credit union ourselves and all. We believe credit unions are the best possible financial institution for community empowerment, excellent service, and individual financial freedom.
We also say it because we think it’s true. Credit unions are, in general, exceptional financial institutions that build up their members and their communities. Any community is lucky to have one around, and we’re lucky to be one as well.
Still not convinced? We’ll let the facts speak for themselves. Here are three BIG reasons why credit unions are so exceptional, and by the end of this article we bet you’ll agree:
We’re on your side
Credit unions are all about the members. Since we’re not-for-profit institutions, we can focus on helping members with their individual financial needs. This means high-quality, personalized customer service so that we can offer each member exactly what they need.
Without outside shareholders to worry about, we’re completely focused on our members and making their lives better. We turn profits into better rates and benefits for our members, and we don’t encourage you to make financial moves you can’t handle. Our goal is always to help you improve your financial situation and to make healthy financial decisions that won’t leave you worse off in the long run.
We’ve got a wide variety of top-quality services
Just because a credit union like AgFed may be smaller than a bank doesn’t necessarily mean we have fewer services. In addition to financial education, credit unions like us offer consumer loans, online banking, home equity loans, auto loans, credit cards, overdraft protection and more.
There’s a common misconception that credit unions have limited locations and ATMs, but thanks to CO-OP Shared Branches and ATMs, this isn’t actually the case. As part of this network, our members can access nearly 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs and over 5,600 shared branches. That’s more than most other financial institutions!
Our member-focused model means we can often offer lower rates on loans and credit cards and better rates on deposits. In general, credit unions offer some of the best rates on credit products such as car loans, mortgages and credit cards. Thanks to the way credit unions operate, the price to borrow money from a credit union, known as the interest rate or APR, is typically lower than it would be from a bank.
We’re a community, not a corporation
Like all credit unions unions, AgFed is member-owned, meaning we don’t answer to stockholders. When you become a member, you also become a co-owner of the credit union. This means you reap all the benefits of our success and get to vote on the important decisions, including the selection of credit union board members.
Our Board of Directors are democratically elected volunteers, and each of them is required to be a member as well. As both a Board member and credit union member, each Director has a responsibility to and a bond with the rest of our membership. Any decision they make will directly affect them as well.
For these reasons and more, credit unions are a powerful presence in the community. Part of the mission and purpose of a credit union is to educate their members about the wide span of money and credit matters. If you love where you live and the people in your profession, joining a credit union like ours can be a wonderful way to take part in their betterment.
Because of our membership requirements, AgFed members often have similar interests, live in the same geographic region, work closely together or are involved in a common organization. Our members benefit from being a part of a financial institution that focuses on the needs of consumers just like them.
After all of that, we hope you can see why we’re so proud to be a credit union! We truly believe in our mission and our members, and we hope you can see just how excellent a credit union can be.
If we managed to convince you, please tell a friend about us! We’re always looking to grow the AgFed family because the stronger we are, the more people we can help!