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Building wealth is especially challenging during these hard economic times.  Both banks and credit unions offer very similar financial services, but there are some differences.  How do you know which one is better?  Here are three important points to consider when making your choice.  First, find out who owns the financial institution?  Next, compare interest rates on checking, savings, money markets, IRA's, bonds and CDs?  Also, ask about the interest rates and fees for loans.  Finally, ask what the ATM and debit fees are and where the machines are located? So the question is where should you stash your cash?

Credit Unions

Credit unions are member owned and not-for-profit. Usually, you will enjoy good customer service, since you are part owner.  The money they bring in is directed back to the members.  The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) says, "That interest rates at for auto loans at credit unions were 1.84% lower than banks.  Money market accounts were found to have 1.06% higher interest rates than banks."  Please check with your local financial institution in order to compare the most current interest rates.  One disadvantage is that they do not offer all the financial services that a bank is able to offer.  However, today, many credit unions have partnered with other credit unions, so members can access more branches and ATMs.  In the past, a person could only join a credit union through their employer.  But now schools, churches and community associations are forming their own credit unions.

Banks

They're accessible 24 hours a day and are available in grocery stores, malls and gas stations.  Banks are publicly traded companies and stockholder owned.  They are designed for profit and operate to make revenue using their member's money.  One advantage banks have is that they do not have membership restrictions.  This means that anyone can utilize their services.  Also, banks are usually much larger than credit unions and have more conveniently located branches and ATMs.  

Credit unions are smaller and have more of a family feel.  Banks are larger and more convenient.  One is not necessarily better than the other.  It really comes down to what your needs are.  In any case, you now have the all the facts that will assist you in making a smart decision.  The question is, "Where will you stash your cash?"

Sharman Lawson a columnist on Fabulously40, and a financial coach, speaker, and author of the book 12 Steps to Eliminate Debt Forever! Visit her website: [Link Removed]


Sharmanl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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