When it comes to obtaining money for personal needs, such as student loans, home loans, and other kinds of financial services, banks are a popular type of lending institution that many borrowers turn to for help. However, many people are beginning to discover that banks are not the only option available in todays lending market. Credit unions have also begun to gain popularity among the masses, and are now considered a comparable alternative. More specifically, credit unions are not-for-profit cooperative organizations that cater to their members by offering a variety of financial products and services. The members of a credit union are usually comprised of individuals who reside in the same community or work in the same place. Credit unions also boast a plethora of benefits, which is why many individuals find them so appealing.
In addition to basic low-cost services, including checking and savings accounts, credit unions have broadened the scope of financial offerings they provide to customers. For example, individuals can typically obtain personal loans, car loans and mortgage loans from a credit union. The interest rates charged by credit unions are generally lower than those offered by different commercial lenders. Their approval requirements are also less stringent, which makes it easier for borrowers to satisfy them.
Along with financing various loans, credit unions offer other types of financial services as well. Key services provided by credit unions typically include: 1) stock brokerage services, 2) mutual funds, 3) personal financial planning, 4) individual retirement accounts, 5) insurance coverage, 6) automated teller machines, which are usually for a minimum fee or at no cost for access, 7) debit cards, which can be used at numerous locations, and 8) credit cards. When customers obtain credit cards from credit unions, they are able to receive the added advantages of discounted fees and competitive interest rates.
With over two million members, the Navy federal credit union is one of the largest credit unions in the United States. Regulated by the National Credit Union Administration, this federal credit union has been helping citizens for over 50 years. The Navy federal credit union offers financial products and services similar to banks and traditional credit unions, including loans, checking/savings accounts, consumer credit cards, free online account management, low rates etc. Membership of the Navy federal credit union is restricted to all Navy personnel, which include the following:
Active duty marine Active duty navy Military members Reservists Civilian employees Retirees Contractors assigned by the government Family members of federal credit union members
In conjunction with the many benefits mentioned above, every member of a credit union also has a voice when it comes to governance. Many credit unions typically hold elections and meetings every year where members are able to select candidates for the Board of Directors. This means that every member has a direct say when it comes to setting the credit union policies. Additionally, members are entitled to vote on credit union business, and also have the option to serve on their credit unions volunteer board.
With an abundance of financial products and services to choose from, lower rates and fees, easy membership and a safe place to save and grow your money, its no surprise that more and more people are turning to credit unions for financial assistance.