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Credit Unions Versus Banks -The Right Choice

Credit Unions, Short Term Loan

Credit union membership ranks are growing and with good reason. Credit unions will almost always offer you a better savings rate than your local bank. And when it comes to borrowing money you will usually get a better deal as well. For example on a new car loan you might be able to save 1 per cent or more by borrowing through a credit union versus a bank. Credit unions have never been as popular as banks due to the fact you had to belong to a certain organization, work in a particular industry or have certain connections. But credit unions have begun to lift many of the restrictions for membership thus allowing more people to take advantage of the savings and borrowing deals they offer. Memberships in credit unions is now approaching close to 90 million people. Much of the credit unions upswing in popularity has been the fact that Congress has passed laws eliminating the many restrictions that were at one time placed on credit unions. Credit unions have also broadened the scope of the products they offer. It used to be that credit unions were places where you could put some of your savings or take out a short term loan. Not anymore. Many credit unions now offer the same products and services that a bank will. At many credit unions you can now open a checking account, apply for a home equity loan, place money in a certificate of deposit or buy life insurance. Credit unions are as safe as banks with accounts protected up to $100,000 with federal deposit insurance offered through the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

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So how do you find out if you can join a credit union and qualify to take advantage of the credit deals they have to offer? First check out where you work and see if they offer membership into a credit union. Even if your company does not belong to a credit union they might belong to an organization which does which would allow you to become a member. Find out if any members of your family belong to a credit union. Some will only allow immediate family members to join but others will let you open an account if you have an uncle, aunt or in-laws who already have a credit union account. If all else fails you can contact the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). They keep track of all 8700 credit unions in the United States and have links and information that will allow you to find out if you are eligible for membership.

Credit unions have been around for many years with only a few of us being able to take advantage of the great deals they have to offer on saving and borrowing money. Times have changed however and you could improve your financial situation if you can find a credit union to join. Check out what they have to offer and you might be pleasantly surprised.