Barron’s Take on Credit Unions vs. Banks

A recent article in Barron’s looked at the comparative advantages/disadvantages of credit unions vs. banks. If you’re a credit union supported, (and aren’t we all?), it’s always good to see mainstream coverage of this issue.

The article, by Emily Bary, points out that credit unions suffer from a lack of marketing muscle.

As Bary puts it, “Though credit unions offer a good value, they fly under many consumers’ radar. They have smaller advertising budgets, so they don’t have the name recognition of their for-profit competition.”

This can give consumers the impression that UCs are inconvenient, with few branches and strict eligibility requirements for joining. Bary sets things straight:

  • “Eligibility: Some credit unions are only open to alumni of a particular college or employees of a certain company. But wherever you live or work, you can probably find a nearby credit union at which you’re eligible for membership, says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at In some cases you simply have to join the organization with a token membership fee or donation.
  • Convenience: Another potential concern: the availability of branches. “A lot of people want the convenience of a local branch and a big branch network,“ says Tumin. “Credit unions are small and won’t have the same number of branches” as a big bank like Bank of America. But, he adds, they tend to be part of shared branch networks, so if you’re a member of one credit union, you can pop into another one that belongs to the same network.”

Overall, this is a good article to send to a friend or relative that you’re trying to sell on credit unions. You can find it HERE.

It’s always good to have an article from an objective news source to back up our unabashed cheerleading for CUs, isn’t it?

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