Using services offered by your local credit union can help your family's bottom line. Benefits of being a member of a credit union include:
1. Credit unions generally require a smaller minimum balance to open an account.
2. Credit unions pay about half a percentage point higher interest than other institutions.
3. Americans pay an average of $228 each year to maintain regular checking accounts; many credit unions offer low- or no-fee checking.
4. Interest rates on credit union auto loans average 1.55 percent lower than bank loans.
5. Credit unions are member-owned institutions, so you're entitled to vote on decisions that affect your credit union's future.
6. The federal government insures credit union accounts for up to $100,000, the same as at any bank.
7. Once you join a credit union, you can always be a member, even if you move away or change jobs.
You are likely already eligible to join a credit union, so ask your neighbors, coworkers and family members. For more information about credit unions, go to www.nafcu.org.
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