What makes credit unions better than banks?

What makes credit unions better than banks?

i currently have an account with chase bank, but would like to close that account and put my money in a credit union. I don'-t know how it is much different than a bank except I'-ll own a share of the the credit union.

Mel

Credit unions are financial institutions, like banks. They offer many of the same products and services -- savings accounts, checking accounts, ATM/debit cards, credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, home equity loans, etc. Both have deposit insurance so your money will be safe. Credit unions have insurance through the National Credit Union Administration, which is a government agency similar to the FDIC. Most of the time credit unions offer better rates and have fewer fees than other financial institutions. Banks have more branch offices than credit unions.The main difference from your viewpoint as a consumer is that you can become a customer of any bank, while credit unions can only serve people who fit in their "Field of Membership." Some credit unions are sponsored by a company and only the employees can join. There are numerous credit unions that have "community charters" which allow them to serve people who live within a defined geographic region (i.e. city, county, zip codes, etc.).At a credit union, the people who have accounts are the owners of the financial institution. There are no outside investors, like you find with banks. As financial cooperatives, credit unions offer people the opportunity to pool their resources (deposits) to provide products and services (loans, transactional accounts). Since credit unions are not-for-profit, all proceeds generated are put back into the institution in the form of better rates, fewer and lower fees, new products & services, and bonus dividends.Hope this helps. Good luck.

ConcernedLemming

Credit Unions are non-profits and theoretically their mission is to serve *your* interests. Chase, on the other hand, is only interested in taking your money. In fact, they have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to take as much of your money as they can, through fees or by giving you low interest rates on investments like CDs or high rates on loans.Theoretically (again) you should get a better deal on a mortgage or car loan if you are a member of a credit union. Realistically, you should probably ask both Chase and your potential credit union for actual quotes on a loan and/or investment (you don't need to tell them that this is just hypothetical) and see if the credit union is really better.Personally, I think that your credit union is less likely than Chase to dissapear in a puff of scandal some day, but if either bank folded you'd be bailed out by the government up to the $250K FDIC limit (I assume your credit union is FDIC insured) and if you had more than $250K in cash, you'd know a lot more about these things than me and you wouldn't be asking this question.

cv

That's pretty much the only reason for wanting to switch.EDIT: If you're with Chase, that's a large bank, that is well-diversified and less likely to fail than your local credit union. Really... the only reason to switch to that credit union are the reasons listed by the answerers below. [i.e. you're a member as opposed to a customer, supposedly your interests are being served (as opposed to the bank's shareholders' interests)]

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