Want to Be the Boss of Your Bank? Join a Credit Union!

Did you see the recent Chicago Tribune article detailing why credit unions are growing increasingly popular in the U.S?

If you missed the article by Gregory Karp, or are looking for a summary, check out the key facts below that show how credit union memberships have risen recently:

  • Credit union membership grew 3.6 percent last year, the most in 20 years, according to the Credit Union National Association. 
  • Loans taken out via Credit Unions increased 10.2 percent, the most since 2005.
  • As of 2014, Credit Unions passed the 100 million member mark.

The article quotes a variety of smart sources, including Patty Briotta, spokeswoman for the National Association of Federal Credit Unions. Briotta had our favorite quote, as she really hits on what the key differences are between a credit union and a bank. Before you read the quote, think about how you’d explain the differences to a friend.

“Credit unions, unlike banks, are owned by depositors, so as a member you're the boss. Because credit unions don't have to make a profit for shareholders, they return their gains to members in the form of fewer and lower fees, lower loan rates and higher yields on savings.”

Briotta NAILED it, right?

Karp went on to detail the Top 10 things you should know about Credit Unions. You should read his writing (Witty! And informative!), but we’ll highlight Alliant’sTop 5:

  1. Service and satisfaction is superior. Per Karp’s article, credit unions typically rank at or near the top of the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index, easily defeating banks year after year.
    Last year was no different, with credit unions scoring an 85 on the index, second-best across all industries, not just financial services. Banks rated a 76. Ouch, banks. Something tells me that with Chase’s latest Lollapalooza fraud goof, that number isn’t increasing anytime soon.
  2. Fees are more palatable. Definitely! We offer free savings and checking2 and even provide a free first box of checks.
  3. ATMs are plentiful. Alliant offers 80,000+ AND a $20 ATM rebate monthly if you go out of network.3
  4. Loan rates are lower and saving rates are higher. Both are true at Alliant. Our current 0.90%1 savings account APY is approximately 11 X more than the average for banks.4
  5. Joining is easier than you think and doesn’t cost money. True story. At Alliant, the following folks are eligible: 5
    * Any employee or retiree of a Qualifying Company
    * Any member of a Qualifying Organization/Association
    * Any person who lives, works or worships in a qualifying Chicagoland Community
    * Any donor of $10 or more to Foster Care to Success (Donate today – it’s good for your wallet and your conscience)
    * Any relative or person related by blood or law to an existing Alliant member
    * Domestic partners of unmarried members

Learn more about joining today! Visit our website to get started.

1 APY=Annual Percentage Yield. The March 2015 Alliant savings dividend provides an Annual Percentage Yield (APY) of 0.90% APY. The APY is accurate as of the 02/19/2015 dividend declaration date. Savings dividends are paid on the last day of the month to accountholders who have maintained an average daily balance of $100 or more in their savings. Savings dividend may change after account is opened and is subject to change monthly. There is no maximum balance limit. 2 Alliant checking is free; however, if incurred, fees such as a stop payment or NSF fee will apply. Please refer to the Alliant Fee Schedule at http://www.alliantcreditunion.org for a list of these types of fees. Account is subject to approval. We may not open checking for you if you do not meet Alliant criteria. 3 Surcharge-free ATMs include Alliant-owned ATMs and ATMs that are part of the Alliance One, Allpoint, Bank of the West, CO-OP Network, Credit Union 24 CU Here and Publix Presto networks when you use your Alliant Convenience card, Alliant Visa HSA debit card or Alliant checking account Visa debit card. Alliant will rebate fees incurred at other nonsurcharge-free ATMs up to $20 per month per membership account when you use your Alliant checking account Visa debit card to make a deposit, withdrawal, transfer or balance inquiry. The rebate does not apply to cash advances from Alliant Visa credit cards through ATMs nor to the Alliant Convenience card, Alliant Visa HSA debit card and Visa International Service Assessment (ISA) fees. 4 Based on Alliant’s March 2015 savings account dividend rate of 0.90% APY vs. the bank national average savings rate of 0.08% APY as of 03/02/2015 sourced from National Association of Federal Credit Unions in cooperation with SNL Financial and Datatrac Corp. 5 Alliant membership is an exclusive benefit available to employees, retirees and members of qualifying organizations and their family members; and individuals who live or work in qualifying communities and their family members. Applicants must also meet other eligibility requirements for membership. Please visit http://www.alliantcreditunion.org for details regarding Alliant membership eligibility. When Foster Care to Success (FCS) is selected as the basis for membership eligibility, the applicant must be or become a member of FCS to be eligible for Alliant membership. Visit http://www.alliantcreditunion.org for details.