Why the Smartest Consumers Choose Credit Unions


Why the Smartest Consumers Choose Credit Unions

If you're thinking about the best way to manage your money, good for you! Making loan payments, balancing a checking account and investing for retirement are everyone's least favorite financial priorities but they’re also some of the most important.

So then the question becomes…

How is a credit union better than a bank?

You know what a bank is, but you might not be as familiar with what credit unions are. Even if you already have a bank account, now is the time to understand what makes credit unions different, and why the smartest consumers choose to bank with credit unions.

Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations where account holders are both members and owners of the financial institution. Similar to banks, credit unions accept deposits, make loans and provide a wide array of other financial services. As community oriented and cooperative institutions, credit unions provide a safe place to save and borrow at reasonable rates and lower fees than your usual bank.

1. You are more than a number, you are part owner.

Credit unions operate under the philosophy that membership is ownership. Apart from using their services, you get to vote and help elect a volunteer board of directors who manage the credit union and make decisions on strategies, policies, and more.

Credit unions offer better deals because they don’t have outside investors pressuring the intuition to maximize profits at the expense of customers. Most credit unions pay higher dividends on savings and certificates, and they often offer fee-free checking.

2. Credit Unions are not-for-profit organizations.

Credit unions operate to promote the well-being of their members. Profits made by credit unions are returned back to members in the form of reduced fees, higher savings rates and lower loan rates. Not for profit, not for charity, but for service is the credit union motto.

3. Community involvement is a priority

Members often have shared interests and appreciate participating in an institution designed to help other members. Credit unions often provide financial education and outreach to consumers, in-school credit union branches, and facilitate small business needs.

4. Your money is insured and safe

Credit union member deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a federal government agency. According to the NCUA, not one penny of insured savings has ever been lost by a member of a federally insured credit union.

5. Credit union members share a lot of love, and money

The cooperative structure of credit unions creates a cycle of mutual assistance towards the common goal of the financial well-being of members. One member’s savings becomes another member’s loan.

Ultimately choosing a financial institution comes down to the products, services, and fees offered by the individual institution you're looking at. Banks and credit unions can both meet your needs, but at a credit union, they make it their priority to help their members succeed financially, and protect their assets.

You Can Join Apple FCU! No Education Affiliation Needed.

Some people refer to us as ‘The Other Apple’. If you thought Apple Federal Credit Union was just for teachers, or that big computer company, you’d be mistaken. We now serve nearly the entire Northern Virginia community which means you don’t have to work for a school system to open an account!

Open your Apple FCU account online, in less than 10 minutes, or visit any of our 21 branches. Account opening is available to anyone who lives or works in Fairfax County, Winchester/Frederick County, or Prince William County (including Manassas City, Manassas Park). Membership is available for immediate family or household members and also open to the employees of participating businesses throughout Northern Virginia, including Loudoun and Stafford Counties.

Check us out! We’re almost as cool as the other Apple.

 • mycreditunion.gov/Pages/whats-a-credit-union [03/22/2018]
 • mycreditunion.gov/about-credit-unions/Pages/How-is-a-Credit-Union-Different-than-a-Bank [03/22/2018]
 • thebalance.com/bank-vs-credit-union-315399 [10/04/2017]