This OTYCD article originally appeared in February 2018.
Join a credit union and leave traditional for-profit banks behind.
Are you sick of banks? We at OTYCD don’t blame you, and we’d like to suggest an alternative: a credit union.
A credit union is a non-profit member-owned cooperative. It exists to help people manage their money instead of making a profit off of them.
Fees tend to be lower and customer service far better than at traditional banks. Credit unions generally offer free checking accounts and do not charge you if your balance falls below a specified amount.
Credit unions are often more community-oriented as well, and concerned with helping, supporting, and building the local community in a wide variety of ways–offering small business loans, providing financial education, sponsoring local events, and even offering scholarships.
There are drawbacks to credit unions. They generally offer fewer financial products than banks do. Their ATM networks aren’t as broad as those of traditional banks, which means you might pay fees to use machines that don’t belong to the credit union (but ask about this–many credit unions reimburse a certain number of withdrawals per month). Credit unions aren’t as abundant as banks, and you might have trouble finding one near you that you can join.
Regardless, it’s an option worth exploring, especially if you’re fed up with the banking system and fed up with being treated like a cash cow.
Read these articles about credit unions and their pros and cons:
See MyCreditUnion.gov’s explanation of credit unions:
See Wikipedia’s list of credit unions in the United States and find one near you:
Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!