ATLANTA (8/26/13)--The Credit Union National Association provided insight and information for a Equifax website blog, "Nine Things to Know About Banking at Credit Unions," written by nationally syndicated columnist and author Ilyce Glink.
Glink is the author of 10 books, including the bestseller 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask, and writes the nationally syndicated column, "Real Estate Matters."
The Aug. 23 article features Paul Gentile, CUNA's executive vice president of strategic communications and engagement, discussing how credit unions are different.
"Credit unions are very unique institutions because we're owned by our member-owners. What's different from a bank is that there are no shareholders at credit unions," he said. "That means the credit union doesn't have to try to drive high profits to raise shareholders value or to have a strong stock price.
"That's a power proposition today," he added. "At a credit union, the money goes back to the membership in better rates and lower fees."
The article outlines nine things consumers should know when opening an account at a credit union. In a nutshell, credit unions have:
Membership requirements, but consumers can aSmarterChoice.org to find a credit union to join;
Widespread access to no-surcharge ATMs through CO-OP ATM Network and CO-OP Shared Branching;
Shared-branching so members can conduct business nationwide;
Deposits insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund;
Services that are tech-savvy--the first financial institution to offer online banking was a credit union;
A full suite of products, including mortgages, checking, credit cards and certificates;
Services for the underserved, including financial literacy workshops and credit counseling; and
Limited options regarding sophisticated, higher-wealth investments, but services vary at credit unions.