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Ownership Matters: The advantages of joining a credit union

Authored By: Paula Nickell on 10/14/2022

Originally published in Business Women of Northeast Indiana on May 9, 2022

What is a credit union and why should you consider joining one? Simple answer – ownership. Credit unions are community-focused financial institutions owned by their members. Why does this matter? Because as an owner, your membership gives you a share in the organization’s profits, driving cost savings directly to you. Credit unions typically offer lower fees, higher savings rates and a more personalized member-service experience. They operate to promote the well-being of their members, improve the financial well-being of their membership base and add value to their communities.

1. Powerful Community Presence 

If you love where you live, joining a credit union can be a wonderful way to engage in your community’s growth. Credit unions partner with their members by investing in local businesses, community initiatives and serving the underserved. As a cornerstone of credit union charters, expect yours to be a positive force in your community through outreach, charities and financial education. Often, credit unions award grants and scholarships to local students and sponsor fundraisers.

2. Dedicated Resources to Help Members Build and Maintain Good Credit 

As a trusted financial advisor, credit unions are leaders serving those needing financial assistance. They offer loan programs allowing members to establish or rebuild credit and may sponsor programs to educate members on establishing and maintaining good credit.

Credit unions are committed to equipping their members with the knowledge and tools to build a strong credit rating. These helpful loans offer competitive rates, report to the credit bureaus and provide credit-building opportunities to individuals that may not have qualified at other financial institutions.

3. More Forgiving Qualification Standards

Credit unions partner in your financial success. As an owner, your success is the credit union’s success. If you have no credit history, or do but it’s damaged, credit unions often provide greater forgiveness, improving the possibility of getting a loan or credit card with a lower rate. When a member applies for credit, a credit bureau is pulled to see who you owe, how much you owe and if your bills are paid on time. If financial problems emerge, we collaborate through financial education and expert guidance. 

4. Questions to Ask

When looking for a financial institution, consider asking: Is this organization investing locally? Do they offer education and programs that build my financial confidence? Do they share my values? What are the fees and interest rates offered? 

Membership has its privileges. By opening an account with a credit union, you receive enhanced interest and loan rates, community-focused investment and ownership in your financial institution’s success. Credit unions are for-you, not for-profit. Research your financial options to see what may be right for you!

Join Fort Financial today!

Paula Nickell Business People Magazine Cover

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