With the cost of everything going up these days, it can be hard to manage a budget without feeling overwhelmed or that you don’t have control over your family’s money. Maybe you feel stuck at your current financial institution, but you don’t know of any other way.
But there is another way: the credit union way. Ask yourself:
- Do I get money back from my financial institution?
- Do I feel in charge of my money?
- Am I paying fees for things I really shouldn’t pay fees for?
- Does my bank to really care about my financial success?
If you want more control, more money back, less fees – and most of all – honest advice that puts you and your family first, it’s time to try a credit union. But if you’re still not convinced, or you’re not even sure what a credit union is, let’s bust the top five myths about credit unions.
Myth 1: Credit unions charge extra fees or higher interest rates.
Fact: Credit unions don’t charge extra fees. We give members money back through profit-sharing. When’s the last time your bank paid you? And our interest rates are competitive – or often lower – than what is being charged by big banks.
Most credit unions across Alberta don’t charge monthly banking fees for youth, students, or seniors or those who maintain a minimum balance. And as a credit union member you have access to thousands of surcharge-free ATMs across the country with ding free.
Myth 2: Credit unions are small or rural-only financial institutions.
Fact: Credit unions are not small organizations with only a few branches located in rural communities. There are 14 different credit unions in Alberta with nearly 200 branches and more than 610,000 members across the province.
When you bank with a credit union, your money is invested locally, to benefit the small businesses in your community. Banking with a credit union is banking local.
Myth 3: Credit unions are payday lenders or collection agencies.
Fact: Don’t worry, credit unions are nothing like payday lenders or collection agencies. We are just like the big banks, but we care about our members’ financial success (not just our shareholders). We may have the word “credit” in our name, but we have nothing to do with collecting on unpaid debts.
Whether you need a chequing account, a loan, a mortgage or a credit card, your local credit union can help – and you’ll never feel pressured to get a product that doesn’t suit your needs.
Myth 4: Credit unions are only open to special groups like farmers or union members.
Fact: Not true! Most credit unions are open to anyone! You don’t have to be in a special group (like a teacher or a farmer or a construction worker). Credit unions offer not only all the same products and services as banks, but the same access to digital tools like online account opening and management and mobile apps so you can bank with a Alberta credit union anywhere (not just in Alberta).
And when you bank with a credit union, you are a member, not just a number. You can help the organization make decisions and you are part of their success thanks to profit-sharing.
Myth 5: Credit unions are risky.
Fact: Credit unions are not risky or unstable – every deposit and accrued interest is 100% guaranteed, with no limit. That’s the strongest guarantee in Canada (and it’s not available at the banks).
And profits from Alberta credit unions are shared with members through patronage and share dividends, meaning not only will credit unions make you money through your investments and products but you also get rewarded for simply being a member. So why not try a credit union today?