Making the Switch: Leaving Your Bank to Join a Credit Union

making-the-switchSome people go through life thinking about banks and other financial services as “necessary evils,” chalking up their own difficult and frustrating experiences as par for the course. After all, their parents used the local bank and their grandparents used the local bank – it’s just what people do in order to cash paychecks, pay bills and save money, right? However, there is an alternative to the traditional bank account that millions of Americans are using to their advantage. While many of the services, such as a credit union checking account, savings account and credit union home loan and auto loan are very similar to what you would expect from a typical bank, the way that they conduct their business is completely different.

According to recent financial statistics, there are currently over seven thousand credit unions currently in the United States. While they have been around for many years, with St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford standing as the oldest credit union in Southeastern Massachusetts, having been founded in 1911. Long-term bank customers are switching from their local and national banks to member-owned, non-profit credit union institutions where they get more personal service and access to member perks not available through traditional banking.

Whatever your reasons for leaving your bank to get a credit union auto loan, home loan, checking account or even a certificate of deposit in New Bedford, St Anne Credit Union can help you have a smooth transition and assist you in getting all the services you require to put your money to work for you. Give us a call at 508-993-0011 to find out more about our services or stop by our location on Union Street in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

What You Need to Know
Before you can open a credit union checking account, you need to become a member. To become a member you need to meet some specific criteria. For example, St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford, MA requires its members to work or live in Bristol and Plymouth counties in Southeastern Massachusetts. Other credit unions are available to members based upon affiliations with military, law enforcement, teachers and specific organizations. Once you become a member you can apply for a credit union home loan or start investing your money into a certificate of deposit in New Bedford and watch your savings increase.

To help you feel even better about your decision to become a member at our local credit union, we recommend that you compare our rates and fees to your current banking institution. Consumer reports organizations reveal that consumers have saved over $6 billion each year in lower rates and fees just by joining credit unions instead of banks. Find out about any free services for credit union checking account and savings, as well as reduced or no fee options for other accounts. If you are interested in opening an IRA, money market account or getting a credit union auto loan, make sure to inquire about those as well.

Ask about extra services that you use, such as online banking, direct deposit and national network access for ATMs and area branches within the Southeastern Massachusetts region. Many credit unions are part of larger, nationwide networks, providing members with access when they travel outside of the local member area. Deposit insurance, which works similarly to the FDIC for banking, is administered by the National Credit Union Administration or NCUA. Make sure to look for this symbol when joining a credit union for deposits that are federally insured up to $250,000.

When in Doubt – Just Ask!
One of the most common reasons why people switch from a bank and get a credit union checking account is because of the friendly and personal services that they provide. Because your local credit union is right here in New Bedford, MA, chances are you know or are at least familiar with one or more of the agents who work at our neighborhood branch. Working with people you know, or at least people who are from the South Coast area, can be preferable to speaking with some random customer service person in another state who isn’t familiar with you, your area or your needs.

Give our local branch a call at 508-993-0011 and learn more about our credit union home loan, auto loan, checking, savings and options for investing in a money market account, IRA or certificate deposit in New Bedford. Our team of knowledgeable, experienced and helpful customer service agents can help you find the best solutions for your unique needs and requirements.