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The Credit Union Difference

The Credit Union Difference

Have you ever wondered what makes a credit union different from a bank? Or what the benefits of joining a credit union would be? Besides the lower fees, higher savings rates and better interest rates, credit unions exemplify core principles that place members before profits. Below is a breakdown of each core principle:

1.   Owned by Members

Credit unions are owned by its members which allows for affordable financial solutions. Our philosophy is “people helping people”, which is demonstrated through the fact that members are part-owners and have a say in the important decisions made for the credit union.

2.   Not-for-profit

Reduced fees and low interest rates are possible because credit unions’ profits are returned back to its members. For-profit financial institutions return the earnings to their stockholders. As Will Kenton mentions in Investopedia, credit unions are “more interested in seeing to the financial wellness of their members, rather than turning a profit.”

3.  Financial Stability

Financial Stability = Reliability. This means credit unions are less likely to close their doors than banks.

4.   Democratic

Each member has a vital role in the decision-making process of the credit union. For instance, before our annual member meeting, an election is held to decide on the board of directors, who are all volunteers. On the contrary, a bank can choose whoever it wants without the consideration of its customers. This principle is essential in making sure our member-owners have a voice.

5.   Open Membership

All are welcome at the credit union! You are eligible to join Meritus CU if you live, work, worship or attend school in Acadia, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin or Vermilion Parish. The immediate family of members are also eligible to join; spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, stepparents, stepchildren, step-siblings and adoptive relationships. Note that your credit union membership lasts a lifetime when you maintain an active savings account, even if you move away.

Switching to us is easy! Just follow the three steps in this switch kit.

6.   Cooperative

Another positive of joining a credit union is that ATMs are offered collectively. We belong to a nationwide network “providing 28,000 ATMs for members around the country to use free of charge.” Find a MoneyPass® ATM here.

7.   Ongoing Education

At Meritus CU we care about the financial wellness of our members. The learning center on our website offers educational resources, financial education courses and more. We also provide financial literacy lessons at schools and host multiple Financial Peace University courses each year.

8.   Social Responsibility

Credit Unions are dedicated to serving the community. One way Meritus CU practices social responsibility is with our community involvement through the employee volunteer program, scholarships, sponsorships, Back to School classroom giveaways, teacher grants and more.

9.   Member Service

Since members are placed before profits, people tend to be happier with the service they receive at credit unions.

World Council president and CEO Brian Branch summed up the credit union difference well during 2016’s International Credit Union Day; "In addition to community commitment and positive economic and social change, we put people before profit to provide all members with affordable financial services. This is the authentic difference that makes a real impact in our world.”

Meritus CU adheres to these core principles through our mission of securing your future by delivering affordable financial solutions, education and personal service with compassion and integrity.

Experience the credit union difference by stopping by any of our branches!

 

Sources:

What is a Credit Union?

World Council

Financial Cooperative

National Credit Union Administration

Credit Union Democracy – The Seven Principles Of Cooperatives Part 2

6 Benefits of Using a Credit Union