What advantages do credit unions have over traditional banks? Many of us are no stranger to traditional banks but credit unions are a different story.

“Credit unions…they do stuff with money, right?”

Here lies the typical response I get when I ask younger generations what a credit union is, and I don’t blame them! Gen Z is only 4% of credit union members, according to PYMNTS. This drastic lack of information and awareness about credit unions could leave individuals stuck in the ways of traditional banking, costing them thousands of dollars. What’s the solution? Financial education.

You’ve come to the right article.

Credit Unions are Similar to Banks…But Better

Before I go on, I want to make a note for my traditional-bank-loving readers. Credit unions have a habit of painting traditional banks as the worst thing in the world and something they wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Yet, when you talk to the users of these banks, they quote specific services and traditional banking solutions as key reasons why they don’t use a credit union instead.

Why is this heartbreaking? Because it’s often said in unintentional ignorance. The goal of a credit union is to offer just as many high-quality services (if not better) than banks. Credit unions do not want to be on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of services in comparison to banks. For example, it’s expected to have access to financial solutions like credit cards and loans no matter the financial institution you use.

We’re not reinventing the wheel here. Our mission is to provide competitive services that serve members more efficiently, more affordably, and more effectively.

It’s not about being completely different than banks; Credit unions want to be the better, hotter, smarter, glow-up version of them.

Here are four areas where credit unions have an advantage over banks.

(1) Low-interest rates on loans/credit cards

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions dedicated to giving money back to their members. In other words, the profit made by the credit union directly benefits those they serve.

Banks, on the other hand, need to please and meet the needs of their shareholders, taking the focus off of clients. Since banks prioritize shareholders as their profit motive, individuals get stuck with higher interest rates on services.

From your car to your home, our credit union offers low rates on the loans you need.

(2) Fewer fees

Those pesky fees! They sneak out of nowhere and leave you saying, “I knew it was too good to be true.” But not with credit unions!

Remember, their entire focus is their members. Since there is no money-hungry corporate overhead, credit unions can offer fewer fees since that money would go straight back into financial services and solutions for their members anyway.

1166 FCU makes personal banking and business banking a financial dream come true. No required minimum checking balance and no monthly service charge means you can start saving money quickly and affordably.

(3) Access to other shared branches

79% of Gen Z and millennial consumers report using social media for financial advice. The internet is a magical place with many extraordinary educational resources, but it’s also full of people saying whatever they want whenever they want. Instead of taking a risk on what could be misinformation, credit unions offer financial advice and assistance that comes with years of quality experience. In fact, 1166 FCU started serving members way back in 1936, over 85 years ago.

The point is that people thrive off of constant connection, seamless digital transactions, and reliable and accessible support. Therefore, digital banking is a necessity. On our free 1166 Federal Credit Union mobile app, members can instantly deposit checks, make person-to-person and financial institution transfers, view bank account balances, pay bills, and manage Visa credit card activity on any smartphone or tablet. Additionally, we offer digital solutions through It’s Me 247 Online Banking.

However, sometimes you crave those good ol’ face-to-face interactions. As a member of 1166 FCU, you’ll gain access to more than 5,000 other branches nationwide through our Co-op Shared Branch Network, providing convenient locations and services to assist you with in-person transactions.

At each location, you can:

  • Get a copy of your account history
  • Make loan payments
  • Withdraw money
  • Transfer funds
  • Make deposits
  • Cash checks

…and more!

Use our branch locator to find a location that works for you!

(4) We put the “unity” in community

Typically, credit unions serve a local area or group of people such as specific business employees. For example, 1166 FCU serves Southern New Jersey, Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Northern Delaware, seeking to support traditionally underserved and low-income communities.

Why is this beneficial? It means that the credit union invests in the financial wellness of local small businesses and individuals, stimulating the economy. There is also a more personal, intimate, trustworthy level of care that is hard to replicate at bigger, traditional banks.

Membership is more intentional, meaning the services are as well.

Contact Us: Browse our website for more information or contact us at 856-542-9241 to speak to a member of our team. You can also find 1166 on Social Media here:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/1166fcu/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/1166fcu.org

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/99499168/admin/feed/posts/

Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/1166FCU

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