Which Is Right For Your Business
There are many factors to consider when choosing the bank or credit union that will be the best fit for your business.
A credit union is a great option for business owners who are eligible for a membership that exists in their community. If you need low fees and lower interest rates and your banking needs are limited or youre not required to be near a physical branch, a credit union may be worth joining.
If you need a wide variety of banking services and are planning to do your banking at a physical location, a bank may be the better option for you. A digital bank is also an option for those who need access to many banking services but would like to do their banking online.
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Key Differences Between Banks And Credit Unions
As mentioned above, the key difference between banks and credit unions is that banks are for-profit institutions that provide profits to their shareholders while credit unions are run by their members. Additional differences between banks and credit unions are:
- Members of a credit union are part owners of the institution while investors of banks are part owners and have a say in how the bank is run depending on their number of shares.
- Although independent community banks exist, these institutions are more often based regionally or nationally, while credit unions tend to be more local.
What You Can Do With A Credit Union Current Account
What a credit union current account offers you will depend on which credit union you use.
Heres what you can do with most credit unions current accounts:
- Pay cheques in for free.
- Get budgeting advice and support.
- pay money in over the counter at the credit union
- Pay cheques in for free, as long as the amount is in British pounds sterling.
- Have wages, salary, benefits, pensions and tax credits paid straight into your account.
- Get money out over the counter or from some cashpoint machines.
- Check your account balance over the counter or from some cashpoint machines.
And with some credit union current accounts, you can also:
- pay your bills by Direct Debit or standing order
- pay for things using a pre-paid card or a debit card
- have separate jars in your account to help you budget for different types of spending.
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Disadvantages Of Credit Unions
While credit unions have many pros, there are a few cons to consider:
- Membership is required: Credit unions require membership, which may be a hassle if you don’t meet eligibility requirements and don’t want to pay to become a member.
- Fewer product offerings: You may not have access to as many financial products with a credit union compared to a bank.
- Limited branch locations: Since credit unions are often local to a specific community, there are a limited number of physical locations. This can pose a problem if you want to visit a branch while traveling, or if you’re a member who doesn’t live near the community. To remedy this, some credit unions partner with others across the country to lessen the burden of out-of-network ATM fees and give you a safe place to make deposits, but it’s not exactly the same as opting for a bank that operates globally.
- Less innovative technology: Credit unions are nonprofits, so they may have a smaller budget for new websites or app features, which may result in less advanced technology compared to big banks.
Advantages Of Credit Unions
Like banks, the process of making money at credit unions starts by attracting deposits. In this area, credit unions have two distinct advantages over banks, both resulting from their status as nonprofit organizations:
Being able to work with narrow margins allows credit unions to pay higher interest rates on deposits, while also charging lower fees for other services, such as checking accounts and ATM withdrawals. In short, a credit union can save members money on loans, accounts, and savings products.
According to National Credit Union Administration data as of Sept. 25, 2020, the national average rate for five-year certificates of deposit offered by credit unions was 0.94%, compared to an average rate of 0.78% at banks.
Money market rates at credit unions were also higher, with an average rate of 0.17% versus the average bank rate of 0.12%. While these differences sound small, they do add up, giving credit unions a significant advantage over banks when competing for deposits.
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Bank Vs Credit Union Ownership
The key difference between banks and credit unions is in ownership. Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations. They’re owned and controlled by their customers, known as “members.” The primary goal of credit unions is to promote the financial welfare of their members and to return profits to them.
Banks are for-profit organizations owned and run by shareholders. These investors might be thousands of anonymous stockholders or just a few large investors, depending on the bank. The main motive of banks is to maximize profits for their shareholders.
Pros Of A Credit Union
- For savings products, credit unions may provide higher interest rates than banks.
- Youll find a credit union usually doesnt require a membership fee or monthly service charges.
Members of a credit union are part owners of the institution while investors of banks are part owners and have a say in how the bank is run depending on their number of shares.
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Which Bank Is The Safest
No single bank stands out as the safest bank in the industry, but many banks offer a similar level of security. In general, banks that offer the following features should be considered safe.
- FDIC insurance. All reputable banks are backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for at least $250,000.
- 256-bit encryption. Most banks have websites and apps that protect your personal data using this level of security.
- Multifactor authentication. The best banks and credit unions require more than simply a password to log in to your account.
Who Can Become A Member At Ascension Credit Union
Membership at Ascension Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, or attends school in Ascension Parish, including the family of current members.
All you need to do is maintain a $5.00 balance in our share savings account, then youre eligible for all of the following products and services:
Contact us to find out how to become a member, or visit our main office in Gonzales.
Check out the graphic below. Notice a pattern? The number of credit union members in the United States has grown every year from 2013 to 2020.
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What Should I Consider When Choosing An Advisor
The things you should weigh when looking at your bank’s advisor are really the same things you should consider with any financial advisor. Consider the following:
- Some financial advisors will offer more than just investing services and can also help with life insurance and business planning needs. Determine what you want and need and then look for a good match.
- Interview the advisor that you will be working with to see if they are a good fit.
- Look at the fees that the bank charges based on trades, meetings, and services.
- How is the financial advisor paid? A person that is paid entirely on commission may be more likely to suggest products that do not fall directly in line with your investment comfort level.
- Make sure you understand how their client relationships work: How often you will meet to review your portfolio and how will recommendations on purchasing new investments be handled?
What Are The Different Types Of Credit Unions
Some credit unions are state-chartered, as opposed to federal, and are privately insured. States oversee these credit unions and their deposits are not insured by the NCUSIF.
There’s an easy way to tell if your credit union is federally insured. Its official name, which shows up on your statements and in legal documents, must include the phrase “Federal Credit Union.”
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Best Banks For Savings Accounts
These banks and credit unions offer straightforward savings accounts with low fees and competitive interest rates:
PNC Financial Services Group
Best bank for budgeting
- Strong APYs. Interest rates range from 1.75% to 1.90% depending on which account you choose.
- Management tools available. Virtual Wallet is a checking and savings account in one that allows you to strategically organize and keep track of your money.
- Sign up bonuses. Open a Virtual Wallet account and get a $50, $200 or $300 bonus.
- Limited availability. Anyone in the US can open a Virtual Wallet account, but you must live in a state with a PNC Financial Services Group branch to open a High Yield Savings account.
- Monthly fees. Some of PNC Financial Services Groups savings accounts have monthly fees, but you can avoid them by keeping a monthly balance or setting up auto transfers.
Is Your Money Safer In A Credit Union Or Bank
Cybersecurity is a hot topic these days, and rightfully so. You cant walk through a crowded room without meeting someone whos had their bank account hacked. Cybercrime has resulted in $1.5 trillion stolen from hard-working, everyday people.1 Thats equal to the GDP of Russia. Makes your head spinand your stomach turn with anxiety.
No worries, though. Your money is equally safe in both credit unions and banks. The federal government requires financial institutions to pay back money stolen from your account if hackers breach their website.
If your PIN or debit card is stolen and somebody takes out money or spends money from your account, there are some guidelines about how much money you get back. That amount is based on how soon you report the theft. The sooner, the better, of course. This goes for both banks and credit unions.
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It’s More Than Just Customer Service
Bailey Mariner / The Balance 2020
Consumers can choose to meet their banking needs at banks and credit unions that appear on nearly every block. The many similarities between banks and credit unions might leave you wondering which is right for your own needs.
Both types of institutions allow you to safely deposit or borrow money for a range of uses, but there are differences between the two when it comes to how you want to handle your money.
Why Choose A Credit Union
Credit unions are designed to prioritize their members. If you want favorable rates, low fees, great customer service and an organization that has your best interests at heart, a credit union is the way to go.
This is especially true if you dont need all the bells and whistles that banks offer.
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Online Services And Technology
Large banks tend to have more money to spend on technology, and as a result, they are known for adding technical services much more quickly than credit unions. Mobile banking services are likely to be far more advanced at banks. If technology and online banking are keys to your choice, make a list of your must-have services and ask for a demonstration of them before opening an account at a bank or credit union.
Differing Interest Rates On Deposit Accounts
If you want a savings account that accrues the highest possible interest, depositing your company’s funds in a credit union may be a better option than a bank. Credit unions often pay higher interest rates on all deposit accounts including savings accounts, checking accounts and money market accounts, and depositors generally earn a greater amount on their deposits from local community banks and credit unions.
Traditional banks have never offered interest rates better than credit unions, and in most cases, only online banks have rates that are comparable to those offered by credit unions.
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What Are The Advantages Of Working With My Bank
People will choose to use their bank because they feel that the advisor is more trustworthy or because it simplifies the process of looking for a financial advisor.
A bank’s advisor will likely be able to offer you a wide variety of investments as well as life insurance options. The brokerage fees should be comparable to other financial advisors that work independently or for a brokerage house. It can be reassuring to have a reliable company and name when you are thinking about investing.
Even though it’s nice to maintain an established relationship, you should find out what happens if you need to change banks because you move or for a similar reason. You may want to be able to leave your investments at the bank even if you do not have an account there.
What Is A College Credit Union
A college credit union restricts its membership to students, alumni, faculty, staff and their family members. The process to join is the same as for other credit unions. You’ll become a member and part owner for life or for as long as you choose to maintain membership, not just while you’re studying or working at the school. College credit unions may offer:
- On-campus banking locations
- Financial products geared toward students and those just starting out, including private student loans, student loan refinancing and first-time homebuyer programs
- Scholarships for members
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Benefits Of A Credit Union
- Low interest rates. Credit unions generally offer lower interest rates on loans and higher returns on savings than banks do.
- Greater community participation. Credit unions support communities with business loans, community partnerships, and sponsorships of school and various community initiatives. Credit unions are also more likely to offer community scholarships and grants, assist with fundraising efforts, and work to make your community a better place.
- Customer service. Credit unions emphasize customer relationships and seek opportunities to educate customers about their financial options.
- Focus on financial literacy. Credit unions want you to succeed, financially speaking, and offer many options to educate you about financial products and managing your finances.
Although credit unions usually dont have as wide of a presence on the national stage as big banks do, most credit unions are part of networks that offer shared branches. This means you can make deposits or withdrawals at credit unions that are part of the network even if they arent your home credit union. For more complex financial needs, youll still want to work with your local credit union
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Whichever credit union you use, theres no minimum monthly amount you have to pay into your current account.
You also wont need to pass a credit check to get an account. This is because credit unions dont usually offer overdrafts.
If you need to borrow money, you can apply to the credit union for a loan.
They would look at your income, savings and past history before making a decision. .
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How Do You Join A Credit Union
Search for a credit union in your area using the National Credit Union Administration’s locator tool, or ask your employer, school or place of worship if it has an affiliated credit union.
When choosing a credit union, make sure it has the features that are most important to you. Perhaps you want access to a mobile app, a wide network of ATMs or no checking account minimums.
Once you’ve chosen a credit union, you’ll confirm your eligibility and open an account with a small deposit. You may also pay a one-time membership fee. You can typically open an account either online or in person.
What Are The Advantages Of A Credit Union
The biggest advantage is the one that most affects your personal bottom line. If you’ve noticed that the money in your bank accounts isn’t earning as much interest as you’d like, a credit union may be a better bet.
Here’s an example: The national average savings rate at credit unions for a five-year certificate of deposita type of savings account that locks in your money for a specified period of timewas 2.35% in December 2018, according to an analysis by the National Credit Union Administration . The average rate for the same account at banks was 1.89%. Credit unions may also offer lower rates on credit cards, mortgages, car loans and home equity loans.
Borrowers without good credit may be more likely to get a loan from a credit union than from a traditional bank. Credit unions are able to offer these benefits due to their not-for-profit status and their mission to invest in the local community. They have more flexibility to offer low rates and take on riskier borrowers partly because they don’t pay income taxthough they do pay state and local property and payroll taxes.
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