Questions to Ask Before Joining a Credit Union

July 22, 2022

Making financial decisions can be a challenging step everyone has to take. One of the first things you should do is choose an institution to look after your money. Although banks seem to be the common choice for many, you may also consider joining a credit union. It is a not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative that promotes financial literacy.

If you want to make sure you’re choosing the right financial institution for your needs, ask the following questions:


How To Become a Member of a Credit Union?

Credit union members typically have similarities that enable them to register with the institution. If you’re planning on joining a credit union, you should have any of the following common bonds with other members: geographic location, employer-sponsored program, familial relation, and association with a group, such as a school or military service.

If you are qualified for any of the mentioned requirements, you can apply for membership. The fee to open an account is low—some credit unions may even allow you to join without paying anything. However, you might have to make a minimum deposit that falls somewhere between $5 to $25.

Are Credit Unions Safe for My Money?

Similar to how deposits in a traditional bank are covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), credit unions also insure deposits. The agency responsible for this is the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), backed by the US government. Each member can get up to $250,000 of their money protected.

In addition, credit unions work for the benefit of their members. Aside from protecting your money, they also offer savings products that will allow you to earn interest.


What Are the Interest Rates?

One great thing about credit unions is that they return profits to their members. That is why you can see better dividend rates on savings accounts and lower interest rates on loans than in traditional banks. However, it will still be best to shop around for rates or consider other factors like your credit score before purchasing a savings or loan product.


What Products Do Credit Unions Offer?

Like banks, credit unions also offer personal and business banking services like checking accounts, savings accounts, debit cards, IRAs, and secured and unsecured loans. However, since they’re not-for-profit, they can offer these products at lower or more competitive rates.

Credit unions may also provide education services to help their members succeed. Furthermore, they may have membership benefits like discounts on certain financial products or identity theft protection. These are special advantages that you can’t get from traditional financial institutions.

Become a Member Today

If you’re ready to make wise financial decisions, Firefighters Credit Union in La Crosse, WI would love to welcome you. We offer a wide variety of products and services such as checking products, debit cards, savings clubs, share certificates, individual retirement accounts, and more. Our team only serves the best interest of our members. Join us today!

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