Many people do not know all the benefits that are available from their financial providers. So why should you choose a credit union over a bank? Let us start by explaining the differences between the two.
Banks are for-profit organizations, which means they are either privately owned or publicly traded. This organizational structure means that banks focus on making a profit for the owners or shareholders and not on the benefits for the customers. Credit unions on the other hand are non-profit organizations, they are owned directly by their membership. This makes them focused on providing the best financial products and benefits for their members instead of the owner or shareholders. This difference in structure creates the pros and cons of each.
Since banks are for-profit organization, their products typically have higher annual percentage rates (APRs) on their loan offerings and lower annual percentage yields (APYs) on their savings offerings with higher fees on both. This means that you will be paying higher interest and fees on auto loans, mortgages etc. and getting less interest on savings, money market and other accounts. They also can be more restrictive on the qualifications for loans making it harder to qualify. However, due to their increased fees and APRs they may provide a higher level of convenience for customers with more branches, ATMs, and technological services. They also do not typically have membership eligibility requirements for services and typically are insured with the FDIC, up to $250,000 per account ownership category.
Since credit unions are non-profits, they typically can provide lower APRs and higher APYs with lower fees. This means members can enjoy lower interest rates and fees on car loans, mortgages etc. and get higher interest rates on savings, money market and other accounts with lower fees. They also provide a more personal experience to the members and may have less rigid eligibility requirements for loans. Credit unions also typically provide financial literacy resources for members and give back to the community and membership when they can. Like banks, credit unions are also insured up to $250,000 per account ownership category but by the NCUA instead of the FDIC, which were both backed by the government. However, since credit unions do not focus on making a profit, they typically have a smaller number of branches and ATMs. To offset this, credit unions typically develop partnerships with either a network of other credit unions or some other group, which allows members no fee access to ATMs outside of their main service areas. Credit unions also have membership eligibility requirements so you must find one you can participate in.
Alltrust Credit Union is a great option for those who live, work, or attend school in Bristol, Barnstable, Dukes, Nantucket, and Plymouth counties in Massachusetts and all cities and towns in Rhode Island.
In addition, all family members of existing members qualify for membership. To join, only $5 needs to be deposited into a Regular Savings Account.
On top of having a large service area, Alltrust has many powerful digital tools to help our members manage their money on-the-go. Our online banking allows members to access account balances, view transactions and history, transfer money between accounts, pay bills*, make loan payments electronically, sign up for eStatements and retrieve year-end tax information online. Our 5-Star mobile app** allows for banking anywhere and lets members access account information, transaction history, transfer funds between accounts, make loan payments and deposit checks using Mobile Deposit Capture. Membership also includes:
- Mobile Wallet: Pay fast with Apple Pay©, Samsung Pay©, or Google PayTM. No cash or card necessary
- Money Management: Create a budget, set savings goals, and make the most of every dollar with this easy-to-use program
- CardValet©*: Get real-time alerts about important account activity, like low balances or cleared checks
Those looking to find a financial service provider should compare options of both banks and credit unions to find which option works best for their situation.
*To waive the Electronic Bill Pay fee, you must qualify for one of the following: members age 65+ with Senior Checking & CU Online; or members age 18+ with a Checking Account, CU Online, Direct Deposit & eStatements. If you are unable to receive Direct Deposit, you can still qualify to receive EBP at no charge by verifying you are unable to receive Direct Deposit.
** Data rates may apply. Check with your mobile phone carrier for details. Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Android, Google Play, and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.