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Want to be the boss of your bank? Join a credit union!

March 30, 2015

By Alissa Green

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 have no monthly service fee when you opt for eStatements on our savings and checking accounts 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.2
  4. Loan rates are lower and saving rates are higher. Both are true at Alliant. Our current 2.10%3 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 relative or person related by blood or law to an existing Alliant member
    * Domestic partners of unmarried members
    * If you are not eligible through another option, you can become a member of Foster Care to Success (FC2S) and become eligible for Alliant membership. FC2S serves thousands of foster teens across the United States, focusing on those who are aging out of the foster care system. FC2S awards grants and scholarships for higher education and provides care packages, mentoring and internships.

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

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