Help Someone Start the New Year Right

As credit union members we know that the benefits of membership go beyond practical matters of banking. We know that CUs strengthen communities, and give us the sense that we’re a part of something good in the world. With 2015 around the corner, why not share the joys of CU membership with someone you know?

Amazingly, most people aren’t even sure what a credit union is, or how it differs from a bank. Before you joined your CU, did you know that CUs were not-for-profit collectives? Did you know that every member is a part-owner of their CU?

Like most of us, you probably joined a CU because a friend or family member told you about the great practical benefits of CUs. Sure, CUs generally charge lower fees than banks do. CUs usually offer very competitive rates on loans, (often the best rates available, in fact). CUs also consistently beat banks in customer satisfaction.

These are all very good reasons to join a CU, after all — and they are good reasons to recommend CU membership to others. But once we join, we find out that our participation in a CU goes way beyond these great things. For instance, we learn that our money stays in our communities, and is used to help businesses and people right in our home towns.

We also learn that our CUs are active in our communities – in everything from schools to local charities to civic institutions. CUs help educate our kids about their finances; many CUs even open branches in local schools, to give kids a hands-on education in responsible saving habits, and money management.

CUs – more than any other financial institutions – go out of their way to offer people a break. CUs often help people out with personal loans when no one else will. CU personnel will sit down with any member and help them to plan their finances, improve their credit rating, and get back on their feet.

“Not for profit, not for charity, but for service” is more than just the motto of the credit union movement, it’s the principle on which every credit union in the country operates.

These days, people often feel that their lives are controlled by great institutions run by people far away — and they are mostly right about that. Banks are usually headquartered far away, for instance, and run by people who want to squeeze as much profit out of us as possible.

Credit unions are right in our communities, and the people who own them are…us!

New years are all about fresh starts, and commitments made to make our lives better. Credit unions are all about fresh starts and making peoples’ lives better. So, why not share our little CU movement with someone else before this holiday season is over?

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