Are You Banking With Your Right Fit? Most people nowadays do their banking with the institution theyâ€™ve been with for years. Those catchy offers that come by postcard in the mail are often appealing, but do they have your best financial health in mind? Just as we shop around for car insurance, groceries and household items, have you considered shopping around for your finances? Financial institutions seem to be popping up on every corner, so choosing the right fit for yourself or family can be a grueling task. During the bank bailout, more Americans turned to credit unions as an option over corporate and state banks. Credit unions have always been around, but most often were for a specific group or organization. Over the years, credit unions have evolved into entities open to the public, serving millions of Americans with the same products and services as banks, just at a lower cost. Credit unions, by definition, are non-profit financial cooperatives that offer individuals a rewarding community approach to finance along with: checking, savings, credit and debit cards, home, auto, student and business loans, and mortgages. A credit union pools the deposits of its members to fund low-interest loans, reducing or eliminating reliance on outside capital. Any profits generated by the credit union are distributed and utilized for the benefit of all community members. They receive higher rates on their savings, lower interest rates on loans, and reduced fees on services. Corporate banks have always held an advantage to home town banks and area credit unions because of
the large number of branches they have. Addressing this problem, credit unions across the country created a cooperative network called Shared Branching, allowing the same conveniences as a large bank. Shared Branching gives members thousands of convenient locations to perform transactions just as if they were in their home credit union. Anywhere you see the Shared Branching swirl icon, you can conduct a range of transactions on your account. There is an app, downloadable GPS data, a phone number to call and website to visit that will assist you in finding the nearest participating Shared Branching credit union. A credit union is run by its members, so they always have your best interest in mind. Partnering up with common service providers to offer special discounts to members are an additional perk. Companies such as GMC, Sprint, Allied Moving Benefits, TurboTax, Dell, DirecTV and FTD are a few. In addition, there are even home and auto insurance companies that offer credit union members additional policy discounts. Read more about credit unions at www.ASmarterChoice.org or www.LoveMyCreditUnion.org. For information on Shared Branching, please visit www.CUServiceCenter.com. If you have any questions about credit unions, or are looking for assistance in understanding your options, please contact CommStar Credit Union at 800-365-7345 or go to www.CommStar.org.
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