Why a credit union? We know…sometimes credit unions get a bad rap. According to an informal survey we did a few years ago, some of you described them as old, antiquated, and tacky paneling. Ouch.
But here’s the deal. Credit unions are not like that at all. Some may not be fancy schmancy…but do you know why? Credit unions are not-for-profit banks. They have the same services like checking and savings accounts, loans, and credit cards…but the difference is that credit unions don’t make money.
Credit unions spend their money on their customers, who are members and owners of the credit union. Yup. Members own the place where their money is. Cool, huh? But that’s not all…a credit union member can serve on the credit union’s Board of Directors. YOU can help determine the direction of the credit union. Like a little democracy.
Credit unions members are 100 million strong throughout the world, 646,000 of them are right here in the Sunflower state.
Credit unions are about people, community and financial literacy.
People before Profit
Credit unions care about their members. Did you know the whole reason they were created was to serve people? The credit union philosophy is “people helping people.” Money made by the credit union goes back to each member through lower fees and higher rates of return. Money back in a member’s pocket.
In 2013, Kansas credit unions saved members $56 MILLION.
Kansas credit union members can save at least $30,000 over their lifetime simply by using a credit unions!
Focus on Financial Literacy
Your money is important. But a lot of us need some help managing it. That’s why we’re here. Credit unions can put you on the path to financial health and success. It’s called financial literacy. Many have financial counselors on staff to review your household finances and they’re not afraid to tell you that you not having the latest iPhone is a #FirstWorldProblem. They help keep on track so you can become master of your domain…no contest needed!
Credit unions start teaching financial literacy early too…credit unions have programs for all ages including the youngest savers. Read about our Money$mart Camps for middle school students.
Vital to each and every Kansas community
Location. Location. Location. Credit unions are Main Street, not Wall Street. Credit unions employ people you know…your neighbor or your 4th grade son’s best friend’s mom. A credit union is invested in the community they serve. They want to contribute to it, and make it a great place to live. Credit unions are about social responsibility and supporting their friends, neighbors and those who live and work nearby. Twice a year, Kansas credit unions give back to their communities through what we call "Make a Difference" events. The goal of the event is to make someone's day and surprise them with a good deed. Since 2012, these events have allowed Kansas credit unions to put $86,500 back into the pockets of consumers in their very own communities.
How to join a credit union
A credit union is a cooperative financial institution, owned and controlled by those who deposit their money in the credit union. These people are members, similar to customers and they have something in common. They may work together, attend the same church or live in a certain area. Most people can join a credit union. Search for a credit union.
Kansas credit unions
Kansas credit unions have a presence in nearly every county in Kansas. Some have one office, some have several branches. Search for a Kansas credit union or read more about Kansas credit unions.
ATM / Shared Branching
A great benefit of using a credit union is access to the ATM and Shared Branching networks. When your credit union is part of CO-OP Network, you have nearly 30,000 convenient, surcharge-free ATMs at your service nationwide. With shared branching, credit unions from all over the country share facilities to give members thousands of convenient locations to perform transactions just as if they were in their home credit union.
Great websites and articles to get you on the road to financial health!
Money Possible: Destroy Debt Consumer Financial Literacy program
To bring awareness to personal financial literacy, the Money Possible: Destroy Debt program was created and followed three credit union members as they worked with a financial counselor to reduce their household debt and increase their financial health. This award-winning campaign included television segments, 0:30 television commercials, 0:15 "Money Tip" videos and a blog with lots of advice, tips and downloadable workbook.
KCUA regularly publishes helpful information for consumers.
Thinking about making the switch to a credit union? This general resource will guide you through the process.