Credit Union Advantages & Benefits: Why Use a Credit Union? (2024)

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Credit Union Advantages: Why Bank At A Credit Union

Higher returns, better savings, low interest on borrowings, and a sense of community – these are just a few of the benefits of credit union membership.

However, the main reason why you should make the Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal) your primary financial institution is that we are a not for profit organization. You aren’t just an account holder, you’re a Member.

CU SoCal has serviced the needs of Southern Californians for over six decades. We’re now officially the fastest-growing credit union in Southern California.

Our Members have access to 30,000+ free ATMs through the CO-OP Network, which is more ATMs than Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo. Additionally, we provided $15.2 million in direct financial benefits to our members in 2019 alone.

Intrigued by the benefits of having a credit union account? Open your account today!

Get Started on Your Membership Today

Benefits of Joining a Credit Union

Credit Unions run on the principal that people should look out for each other — and at CU SoCal, every member is cared for. We are all about people, not profits.

This member-centric model makes the typical credit union more accessible than a bank, and each credit union member is far more likely to receive personalized customer service than they would from a bank.

If you are still wondering why are credit unions better than banks, let’s highlight some of the many benefits of joining a credit union.

Lower Rates

Since we are not-for-profit establishments, we set aside some of the earnings to cover operational costs and the rest is used to pave the way for low-interest auto loans, mortgages, credit cards, and other financial benefits for our members.
We also tend to offer better, longer payback periods, and discounts when installments are paid on time, all of which makes it cheaper to borrow money from a Credit Union compared to a bank!

Lower Fees

One of the other pros of a credit union is its remarkable fee structure – they offer quality financial services at minimal costs, with no hidden charges.
Naysayers may claim that exorbitant bank fees help facilitate an enhanced customer experience and better services such as mobile payments, online banking, reachability, etc.—but many credit unions, including CU SoCal, offer the same or better benefits as traditional banks, such as full service mobile apps and state-of-the-art fraud protection.

More Forgiving Qualifications Standards

If your credit history is compromised or you downright don’t have a credit history, a conventional bank might not accept your loan application or even let you open an account with them.
However, credit unions are far less likely to be so strict about your credit history.
They will analyze your current position, see how much you owe, and if you are making payments on time. Less than perfect credit is not always an obstacle with credit unions the way it usually is with banks.

Community Presence

Another reason why people use a credit union is the sense of community that comes along with it.

Credit unions only allow membership if you belong to a particular organization, work for a certain employer, or live, work, attend school or religious services in a certain geographical area, such as a city or county. Anyone who lives, works, attends school or religious services in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino or Riverside County can join Credit Union of Southern California.

To give back to the community, credit unions organize fundraisers, provide grants and scholarships to deserving students, donate money to the less fortunate, and do other community building efforts that help benefit members directly. CU SoCal gives hundreds of thousands of dollars to local communities every year!

Higher Rates On Savings Accounts

Credit union benefits include great rates on saving accounts, so if you want to make your money work harder for you, become a member of your local credit union!
Instead of distributing profits among shareholders in the form of dividends, credit unions share their “profits” with all of their members in the form of low rates on loans, higher rates on savings accounts and lower fees overall.

Personalized Service

From educating members on complex financial matters to providing tailored services to meet their needs — credit unions will do everything in their power to help their members thrive.
Since their end-game is not to make a profit, they pay more attention to their members.

Insured Deposits

Above all, one of the most acclaimed credit union advantages is that all deposits remain secured.
You won’t lose your hard-earned money because the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) backs credit union deposits. Each depositor’s account is insured for up to $250,000.

Why Choose CU SoCal’s Banking Products?

We offer modern tech innovations to facilitate our members in every way possible, providing the best possible service experience no matter how you want to access your funds or benefits.
We have 19 local locations and access to free CO-OP Network ATMs across the nation. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, attends school or religious services in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside or San Bernardino County.

Don’t just take our word for it; read testimonials written by our members.

CA’s Best Credit Union Banking Products

Southern Californians opt choose our exceptional service and financial fairness services because they know we always support and provide solutions to our Members.

Checking Accounts

You have two options to choose from — either open a


Checking Account or a Rewards Checking Account. These checking products provide you access to online bill payments, mobile banking, nationwide ATM access, and a lot more.

You’ll get a Visa debit card with your CU SoCal Checking Account. You can use it fir purchases or to withdraw cash from ATMs.

Savings Accounts

It only takes a $10 deposit to open a

Savings Account

, and you earn interest when you maintain a $500 balance.
Like conventional banks, we offer services like online banking, mobile banking, automatic transfers and much more.


We offer NCUA deposit-insured share certificates, and you can open a certificate of deposit with a minimum of $1,000.
These have flexible maturity dates of 1 to 60 months. Dividends are compounded every month and also on maturity.

Auto Loans

If you want an auto loan from CU SoCal — we offer up to 120% financing on new or used cars, competitive interest rates, and extended terms up to 84 months for the lowest possible monthly payment.

Personal Loans

You can get a personal loan for a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $30,000.
You can opt for a signature loan, savings secured loan, certificate secured loan, or a line of credit.

Emergency Loans

Our Members can apply for an emergency loan of up to $10,000.
They don’t have to pay anything for three months, and then they have a max 60-month limit to settle their dues at a low fixed interest rate. A personal hardship letter is required at the time of application.


Are you looking for a home loan?
CU SoCal offers a full range of mortgage options to meet your specific needs. Register free for our exclusive Home Rewards program to find your new home online!

Join CU SoCal Today!

Now that you know why credit unions are better than banks, are you ready to become a member?
Sign up for an account online with CU SoCal today and see what you’ve been missing!

Get Started on Your Membership Today

Credit Union Advantages & Benefits: Why Use a Credit Union? (2024)


Credit Union Advantages & Benefits: Why Use a Credit Union? ›

In addition to using profits to lower fees, credit unions typically offer more competitive rates on deposit accounts than many banks. Member benefits. When you join a credit union, you become a share owner and may be able to weigh in on leadership elections, initiatives and policies that affect you.

What is a credit union What are the advantages of using a credit union? ›

Credit unions return all profits to their members by paying higher APYs on deposits and charging lower interest rates on loans. To do business with a credit union, you have to become a member, but banks are typically open to anyone.

Which is usually a benefit of being a member at a credit union? ›

Credit unions can offer great interest rates and low fees. Rather than paying profit margins to investors, credit unions put profits back into the business by offering low interest rates on loans and high interest rates on savings accounts, effectively giving any extra money back to credit union members.

What's the main advantage of keeping money in a bank or credit union? ›

Earn Interest

One of the main advantages of saving at a bank is the growth of your funds. Banks provide interest or returns on your savings balance. The bank's interest will help increase your savings' value over time.

Why save with a credit union? ›

Credit unions are financial co-operatives where members can save and lend to each other at fair rates of interest. They are non-profit organisations that have a volunteer ethos and community focus. You can become a member of a credit union if you have a common bond with other members.

What is an advantage and disadvantage of a credit union? ›

The pros of credit unions include better interest rates than banks, while the cons include fewer branches and ATMs.

Is your money safer in a credit union? ›

Just like banks, credit unions are federally insured; however, credit unions are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Instead, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is the federal insurer of credit unions, making them just as safe as traditional banks.

Is it better to have money in a credit union? ›

Statistically, personal savings accounts from Credit Unions fare better than accounts in major banks. Grow your money faster with a Value+ Money Market account, or a share certificate.

What are the best credit unions to join? ›

Here are some of the country's top credit unions:
  • Alliant Credit Union. Alliant offers an above-average interest rate for savings. ...
  • Consumers Credit Union. ...
  • Navy Federal Credit Union. ...
  • Connexus Credit Union. ...
  • First Tech Federal Credit Union.

Is a credit union safer than a bank? ›

However, because credit unions serve mostly individuals and small businesses (rather than large investors) and are known to take fewer risks, credit unions are generally viewed as safer than banks in the event of a collapse. Regardless, both types of financial institutions are equally protected.

What is the best credit union to bank with? ›

Alliant Credit Union takes the top spot for a few reasons: The credit union offers one of the best no-fee checking accounts, an industry-leading cash-back credit card and it has one of the top mobile banking apps. Other financial products include personal, auto and home loans, savings accounts, CDs, IRAs and more.

What is a credit union vs bank? ›

Banks are typically for-profit entities owned by shareholders who expect to earn dividends. Credit unions, on the other hand, are not-for-profit, member-owned cooperatives that are committed to the financial success of the individuals, families, and communities they serve.

Can I withdraw money from the credit union? ›

ATM Card. The ATM cash card can be used anytime, day or night to withdraw money from your ATM CU Cash Account or to check Balances. We have called it CU Cash because quite simply it is your Credit Union Cash that you are withdrawing.

Can you transfer money from a credit union to a bank account? ›

You can send a wire transfer by calling us or visiting a branch. You can also set up an electronic one-time or recurring money transfer from your savings (subject to a six-withdrawal per month limit) or checking account with us to another financial institution through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network.

What is a credit union in simple terms? ›

What is a Credit Union? A credit union is a not-for-profit financial institution that accepts deposits, make loans, and provides a wide array of other financial services and products.

What is an advantage of credit union Quizlet? ›

An advantage credit unions may have over other financial institutions is: lower fees & lower loan rates.

What is one advantage to using a credit union quizlet? ›

Credit unions typically offer a higher interest rate on the money that its members deposit than banks can offer to their customers.

What is a credit union Quizlet? ›

credit union. A financial institution owned by its members that provides savings and checking accounts and other services to its membership at low fees. saving account.


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