Reasons You Might Want to Consider a Credit Union Instead of a Bank

Published on December 31st, 2020

If you’re one of the many people who are tired of spending your hard-earned money on ATM fees and other service charges, you might want to consider one of the approximately 5,500 credit unions in the United States. Credit unions are a popular alternative among former bank customers for many reasons.

More than 118 million Americans currently trust their local credit union to handle their money – here are some reasons you may want to join one.

The Credit Union Difference

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions that are owned and operated by their account holders, or “members,” who serve as committee members, board members, and fulfill other necessary roles – mostly on a volunteer basis.  Much like a bank, a credit union offers  savings accounts and checking accounts as well as investment instruments, such as IRAs and CDs. You can also apply for a mortgage, auto loan, home equity loan, a credit card, or other types of loans through a credit union. Additionally, because they are generally smaller than banks, you will experience more personalized service than you would at a larger financial institution, which is often why people choose to work with credit unions instead of banks.

Eligibility Requirements

Membership in a credit union is predicated on belonging to a certain group, such as a workplace, church, community, or geographical region. That being said, most consumers are eligible for membership but might need to do a bit of investigating to find options within their community.  As for Leyden Credit Union, membership is open to anybody who lives, works, or worships in the townships of Leyden, Addison, Elk Grove, Lyons, Maine, Proviso, or York.

Interest Rates

While banks are for-profit institutions that return their profits to outside stock holders, credit unions return their profits to their members in the form of generally better rates on savings and loan products as well as lower and fewer fees.  For instance, new car loans are almost 1.5% less when you get one through a credit union than through a traditional bank.


While bank deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), most credit union depositors are insured by the federal National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which offers the same protections as the FDIC on deposits up to $250,000. The NCUA website allows credit union members to verify coverage and the agency also recommends checking for an NCUA-Insured sign which you should find prominently displayed at your credit union.

Convenience Services

Most credit unions also offer the same convenience and digital services that banks do, such as a mobile app, online bill pay, eSign, and eStatements.  In addition, many credit unions belong to one or more specialized ATM networks, such as The Co-Op Network, where they can make surcharge-free transactions.

From Checking Accounts and Personal Loans near River Grove and Elmwood Park

No matter what type of banking services you are looking for, Leyden Credit Union offers competitive rates and friendly, knowledgeable service. From personal loans to Checking Accounts near Elmwood Park and River Grove, you might want to consider a credit union for your financial needs. Give us a call at 847-455-8440 or stop in and talk with one of our representatives to learn more.

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