In the COVID-19 crisis: Is a credit union right for you?

Today, consumers have more banking choices than ever when it comes to how and where they’ll manage their money: traditional brick-and-mortar banks, online-only banks, robo-advisors, fintech apps. Another option is the credit union—a financial institution that can range from small and local, to truly national in scope.

For consumers who have become jaded about the banking industry, the promises of credit unions—from excellent customer service and financial education to impressively competitive rates—can generate cynical responses. But there are some very good reasons 117.5 million Americans chose credit unions for their financial needs as of 2018.

Here’s what you can expect from a credit union if you choose to become a member.

What a Credit Union Is

A credit union is a financial institution, like a bank, except its ownership is different. By joining a credit union, you are becoming a member of a not-for-profit cooperative. The credit union members own the institution, rather than its being a traditional bank that has private owners or public shareholders.


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