Ever get the feeling that your bank favors some customers more than others? And you aren’t one of the favored? Are you considering moving your money from a bank to a credit union? What you need to know when switching to a credit union is pretty straightforward, and we’ll walk you through the process.
Before switching to a credit union
First, there are plenty of good reasons for switching to a credit union:
- Better customer service
- Better interest rates on deposits
- Lower interest rates on loans and credit cards.
It’s generally true that banks offer more branches and ATMs than credit unions. But really, most days you use the same branch and ATMs. So as long as your credit union is conveniently located for you, having fewer overall won’t make much difference. And frankly, with all your online options, you can probably take care of most of your business from home.
What to consider when switching to a credit union
First make sure you meet the eligibility criteria for becoming a member. Because credit unions are member-owned associations, some credit unions are restricted to only employees of a specific profession. Others only require that you live within a geographic location—whether city, county, state or region.
Once you have a list of credit unions you’re eligible to join, check where they’re located—both branch offices and ATMs. It’s up to you to decide how far you’re willing to drive to a branch or ATM. If you make frequent trips, make sure the location is convenient.
Keep in mind that many credit unions share a network of ATMs. One might be closer than you think!
Switching to a credit union makes cents—and dollars!
If you’ve been thinking about switching to a credit union, chances are it’s in large part because you’re tired of the high fees, high interest rates on loans and low interest rates on deposits. You’re tired of being treated like the bank’s cash cow instead of a member.
If you feel like you’re being ripped off, we think you should see how credit unions compare to banks. We suggest that you make a list of the services and products you currently use. Jot down the rates and terms your current bank offers you.
Then check what credit unions offer:
- Home equity lines of credit
- Car loans
- Personal loans
- Credit card rates
We’re confident that our rates are as good as or better than your bank’s. And if a tenth of a percentage doesn’t sound impressive, consider how much a small difference on a 30-year mortgage adds up to over time. Switching to a credit union will keep more money in your pocket.
Switching to a credit union makes sense
Don’t believe all the hype from the big banks. Credit unions offer twenty-first century services! Of course we offer online services! Credit unions couldn’t survive if we didn’t offer the same conveniences and safe guards as traditional banks:
- Online and mobile banking
- Direct deposit
- Electronic transfers
- Automatic bill pay
- Remote check deposit
Your money is also protected. Instead of the FDIC, credit unions are insured through the NCUA or National Credit Union Administration. You’re insured for up to $250,000.
Switching to a credit union has its rewards
Being a member of a credit union has tangible rewards. You’ll notice the difference when you open a checking account at a credit union. If being paid higher interest isn’t enough of a reward, with United Financial’s checking you also choose how you want to be rewarded.
United Financial has three options for you to choose from. We think you should be rewarded for switching to a credit union, and you know what reward works best for you. Choose from:
- Cash Rewards
- Cash Back Rewards
Cash Rewards Checking
Would you like an above market rate on a monthly average daily balance up to $10,000 in your checking account? What’s the catch? Here’s what you need to do every month once you’ve signed up for this award:
- Use Direct Deposit
- Log into Virtual Branch at least once a month
- Receive E-Statements
- Make 15 Debit Card transactions greater than $5.00
- Use Net Pay Online Bill Pay to pay at least one bill a month
If you can check off each requirement without a second thought, this could be your reward. It’s even possible to be reimbursed for certain ATM withdrawal surcharges.
Cash Back Rewards Checking
If you don’t think that your monthly average daily balance is impressive enough to add up to much in the way of cash rewards, don’t despair! Cash Back could be a reward that makes you a tidy sum each month. When you sign up for Cash Back, you need to meet the same monthly requirements, but you’ll receive 1% cash back on your Debit Card purchases, up to $10 a month.
How much do you use your Debit Card for? Simply check your typical monthly usage and figure out what you could be earning. You’re using your Debit Card anyhow, so why not make some money doing it? At the end of the year, you could be $120 ahead!
Maybe your idea of a reward is getting money back on your iTunes or Google Play Store purchases, up to $10 a month. You need to meet the same monthly requirements as the other rewards, and you could also be reimbursed for ATM withdrawal surcharges you may receive from other locations.
How to make the switch
And to think that your bank makes you pay for the privilege of having a checking account when you drop below a minimum balance! That’s crazy! There’s no minimum at United Financial!
And don’t get us started on per check charges! What’s up with that? Are you ready to make the switch now? Switching to a credit union is easy when you follow our steps. To help make it even easier, just ask us for a switch kit.
Five simple steps for switching to a credit union
Don’t ditch your bank just yet. You want everything in place before you close your old accounts. To make these steps even easier, you can find a “Switch Kit” online at United Financial Credit Union. It has a handy checklist and forms that guide you through the process.
- First, open a savings account at United Financial. It only takes you $25.00 to get started. You might also want to set up a checking account at the same time.
- Stop using your old account. Let all outstanding checks clear.
- Switch your Direct Deposit by filling out forms for your employer, Social Security, or other retirement administrators.
- Once your funds are flowing into the new accounts, set up all your automatic payments. Timing is everything, so make sure you have enough in the old accounts to cover payments and enough in your new accounts once you make the switch!
- Now that all your funds are being deposited at the credit union and your automatic payments are being made, you can say “good-by” to your old bank and close those accounts.
The process is painless, and once you make the switch, you’ll start reaping the rewards. Make the switch to United Financial today!