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7 Things Banks Don’t Want You To Know about Credit Unions

Bankers don’t want consumers to know they have other options. That’s a classic motivation for a business in any industry: you want to boast about your accomplishments and you don’t want potential clients or customers to know about your rival’s good points. So I don’t hold it personally against the banks for trying to convince you they’re the only show in town and you must accept the deals they offer. As they say: hate the game, not the player.

U.S. Credit Union Information

Since that’s the game we’re playing, I wanted to correct common misconceptions about one of the banking industries major rivals, the thirteen-thousand credit unions of America. Since the first half of the 20th century, these financial institutions have represented an alternative to the traditional banking system. In times of prosperity, credit unions have helped Americans build houses, afford the good life, and save for the future. In times of economic downturn, credit unions have been a bedrock of financial stability, a source of redress for Americans who couldn’t get a dime from the banks.

Despite their history, many people may not be aware of the full facts about credit unions. This has been underscored recently when the banking industry started a systematic campaign to undermine public perception of the integrity of the credit union movement. Somebody needs to set the record straight and No-Credit-Check is here to do it.

Money Talks - Credit Union Facts

Credit Unions Consistently Have Had Better Results Than Banks.

Before I go further, let me say I respect banks for what they’ve done over the years for the American economy. I’ve used banks and will continue to use banks far into the future. Bankers help juice the economy, spur investments, and have helped build prosperity for all Americans.

That doesn’t mean they should be the only arrow in your economic quiver, though.

But due to a conflict of interests, when it comes to getting information about these other sources of cash flow beside the corner bank in your hometown, the last person you should believe is a banker.

Why You Shouldn’t Trust Banks

It’s no secret that the financial cave-in of 2008 and 2009 damaged the public’s trust of the US banking industry–and with good reason. All that talk of “Main Street” and “Wall Street” boiled down to one fact: your average American worker and consumer decided the average American banker and financier was a scam artist. That might sound harsh, but when you realize the financial experts who were telling potential home buyers they could afford a mortgage when their credit check and background check said they couldn’t, it’s hard not to come to that conclusion.

A combination of conventional wisdom and old-fashioned greed got the banking consortia into trouble. Conventional wisdom told them it didn’t matter if a family could afford their mortgage, because real estate prices would continue to rise and they could refinance. Old-fashioned greed told them it wouldn’t matter, anyway, since they could sell the contract on the secondary mortgage market and they wouldn’t have them in their portfolio, anyway. That’s all well and good when it happens here or there, but when the entire industry thinks that way, well…you get a housing crisis.

At a point, we all realized we hated bankers, but their banks were too big to fail, so we had to bail them out and save our corrupt financial system. We hated doing it, but our Republican president and our Democrat president both came to the same conclusion: we have to save the banking system from itself. Still, no one trusts the banks any more than they did three or four years ago, and perhaps even less so, since many people have been denied loans. It’s the general assumption the system is righting itself and we don’t have that many options otherwise, but that’s not the case.

NoCreditCreditCard is going to discuss all the many alternatives to traditional banking in their turn, but today I want to talk about credit unions.

Why You Should Trust Credit Unions

The credit union movement has existed alongside the banking industry for the better part of a century now. It’s easy to forget about credit cooperatives, since they’re dwarfed by the huge financial numbers produced by American banks.

1. Credit Unions Serve the Interests of Borrowers and Account Holders

Businesses serve the interests of their owners. A business might provide a useful service or a good product or timely information, but at the end of the day, the idea is to make money for the owners. In the case of banks, you can expect interest rates on loans to be higher and interest rates on savings to be lower, because this means more money for the shareholders.

With a credit union, members of the coop run the organization. These people are elected to run the organization, they are trained by the credit union associations, and they have a brilliant record running their organizations. The credit cooperative is a collection of people who join together to loan each other money at fair rates. The credit union is owned and operated by the same people borrowing money or saving money. They’re the owners, so loan rates and savings rates are designed to serve the interests of those putting their money in savings and borrowing money from the credit union. It’s set up to be to the member’s advantage.

2. Credit Union Outperform Banks in Customer Satisfaction

Credit unions have 3/4 of a century of performance records to look over and they compare favorably to banks. The credit union movement has been a part of the American financial landscape since the 1920s and 1930s. While some local economic cooperatives got their start in the Roaring Twenties, it was at the height of the Great Depression when the coop movement began to gain steam in America.

During a time when 3,000 banks were failing each week in the USA and millions of workers couldn’t withdraw their savings from the banking system, the credit unions were formed in local communities across America. These organizations allowed one neighbor to help another with a loan, building communities at the grass roots, saving homes and farmsteads without costing taxpayers a dime.

In the 75 to 80 years since, credit unions have consistently outperformed banks and other lending institutions when it came to customer satisfaction. By focusing on service to its membership and the communities in which they reside, credit cooperatives have been able to offer lower interests on loans and higher interests on savings accounts than traditional banking interests, who must maintain a profit level high enough to keep shareholders and board members happy.

Beyond that, credit unions have a history of avoiding scandal and disaster in ways that bankers and financiers can’t match. You’ve heard of stock market scandals and banking scandals. You’ve heard about savings and loan scandals. But when have you ever heard of that great credit union scandal that brought the nation’s economy to a halt? Never, because credit unions have a better history than the other financial institutions in this country. The free market system is based on enlightened self-interest, but banks and for-profit interests have a tendency to forget about the word “enlightened”. Nonprofits like credit unions are more likely to maintain their equilibrium, because they are driven by service, not profits.

3. Over 100,000,000 Americans Qualify for a Credit Union

It’s a common perception that credit union membership is confined to a small percentage of Americans, but that’s simply not true. Already, over 72,000,000 Americans are members of credit unions. It’s estimated that another 40,000,000 Americans could join a credit cooperative if they wanted to, but they either don’t join or don’t know they could join. The fact is, the credit union network is huge, with over 13,000 local credit unions spread across the nation.

Over time, each state in the Union has been home to its own set of credit unions. These local chapters have built their own network of assistance and coordination, so that state and regional credit union associations have appeared to lead the movement. At the top of the pyramid site the Credit Union National Association, which is headquartered in Washington DC (and has a processing center in Madison, Wisconsin). CUNA now represents over 90% of the credit unions in this great nation of ours.

The credit union movement is an important resource for many American consumers and small business owners, so today I wanted to highlight this often overlooked part of the United States economy. Below I’ve included links to all the state-level CUA organizations, some of which have combined into multi-state organizations. If you want to join your local credit coop or assist the movement in its various causes, follow these links and help average Americans help their fellow citizens. Together, we can rebuild the economy.

4. Credit Unions Contain People from Many Backgrounds

Tens of millions of Americans like yourself are members of local credit unions. City employees often have credit unions. Churches often have their own credit union. Regional religious organizations have their own credit cooperative. Credit cooperative members might be members of a workers union. Often, the children or family members of credit unions are offered membership. Neighborhood organizations and civic groups might start their own coop, because credit unions often help the town or city where they’re found.

Joining a credit union is often as easy as asking. I’ve heard of people asking their bosses to start a credit union. I’ve heard of local church members deciding they didn’t trust the bankers and members of the congregation should found an association to help each other build better lives. You might hear the word “union” and think of the political left or socialism, but that’s not what the credit cooperative is about. The credit coop is about Americans helping other Americans build better lives.

The power of association has given Americans a better life for over 80 years now, so start learning about how to build your prosperity through the local credit cooperative in your city and neighborhood. Bankers, financiers, creditors, and investors see nothing wrong with the power of association in building corporation, so don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong for average citizens like you and me to build economic cooperatives to help our financial outlook.

5. Credit Unions Can Help You Buy a House

Many people assume credit unions don’t delve into the mortgage lending business. In other countries, lending standards are different and credit unions have higher interest rates on mortgages, but in the United States, credit unions offer a lower APR on mortgage loans than most banks and for-profit mortgage companies do. Part of the mission statement of most credit cooperatives is to help build the community in which they exist. Part of building a community is getting members into affordable housing and having them own their own home.

Credit unions have other advantages over banks when financing mortgages. A banker has more to consider, because they have to sell these mortgages to investors in the secondary mortgage market. Credit unions tend to hold mortgages in their own portfolios, so they don’t have to consider selling these home loans to investors. This might not have mattered so much in the past, but underwriting standards have changed dramatically for mortgage lenders in the past few years.

The same can’t be said for credit union mortgage loans. The underwriting standards on these loans remain unchanged. What’s more, credit unions tend to have higher approval rates for lower income borrowers.

Don’t assume from that your credit union is taking risks or is operating a charity. In fact, the credit union tends to be more cautious than banks. They don’t offer exotic mortgage products, they don’t jump on the financial bandwagon, and they don’t take risks the way banks do. That’s one reason credit unions haven’t changed their mortgage lending standards in the past few years, because they didn’t need to be changed.

6. Credit Unions Offer Commensurate Services to Banks

Credit unions have benefits banks don’t have, so it’s natural they have drawbacks banks don’t have, either. It’s true that credit unions don’t always offer exactly the same services as banks. For instance, it’s well-known that credit union don’t send a copy of canceled checks in a member’s monthly statement. This can be trouble if you maintain a checking account (called a “shared draft account”), though it shouldn’t be too much of a problem if you maintain a carbon copy of your original check. Of course, after the “Check 21 Act” went into effect in 2004, not all banks send canceled checks with bank statements, either. They often destroy the original and maintain a “substitute check”.

A bigger problem might be that credit unions don’t have as many local ATMs as banks usually do. If you use the ATM for your spending cash, the fees you’ll incur could be a real problem. That’s why I’ve suggested credit union members who fall into this category should consider a small checking account with a bank for the sake of convenience. It’s probable that this becomes less of an issue as time goes by, as we continue moving forward into an increasingly computer-friendly, automated world.

These are the two major drawbacks to banking with a credit union. In most other areas, credit unions surpass the service offered by for-profit financial institutions. If these are deal breakers, look into alternatives which make the choice more palatable. You want to be able to enjoy the advantages of credit union membership.

One myth about credit unions is they aren’t insured by the FDIC. Technically, that’s true, but 97% of all credit union accounts are insured by the FDIC’s credit union counterpart, the National Credit Union Administration. Check to see if your credit union is affiliated with the NCUA. If it is, your account is insured up to $250,000, just like a bank account is.

It’s true that you’ll get fewer services and products than one of the big national banks offers, but the checking and savings accounts are simpler and easier to understand. If you prefer good, straightforward services and you’re less interested in electronic banking online or at ATMs, credit unions are your answer.

7. Credit Unions Have Billions More Dollars to Lend

I’m going to get into a little bit of activism here, but it’s activism for a reasonable, worthy cause. I want to talk about House Bill 2231, also known as the National Credit Union Act or the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act. When I write that banks don’t want you to know about all the good credit unions do for its members, that’s isn’t just sales copy. Banking interests here in 2012 are spending tens of millions of dollars trying to slander credit unions. They’ve paid lobbyists huge money to kill federal legislation that would help credit unions help Americans without any cost to the US taxpayer. In other words, banks really don’t want people to know how much credit unions can help them.

With that in mind, I wanted to send a call out to my fellow citizens about an important law which is being championed by CUNA and its allies, which might free up money and help out thousands of small businesses across America. Entrepreneurs and small business owners will be the salvation of America, because these businesses keep jobs in the country while corporations outsource jobs to China and India. Supporting the small business model in America spreads the wealth to a great number of innovative and energetic people, which further helps our democracy. So let’s talk about the National Credit Union Act.

The National Credit Union acts would give credit unions the ability to lend a larger percentage of their assets to small business owners. The percentage would go from 13% to 27.5%, freeing up tens of billions of dollars for investment in the small business sector.

This would create approximately 140,000 jobs in the United States without spending on single penny of taxpayer money. I can’t imagine another bill which makes better sense for our economy right now. Amazingly, people exist who would see this bill killed. The American banking industry has poured millions of dollars into a campaign to see House Bill 2231 never sees a vote, spreading lies because they know any reasonable facts about this law would lead to the inevitable conclusion it should pass.

The reason for this is simple. Credit unions helps Americans help themselves, offering better loans and better savings to the average Joe living on main street. If credit unions have less money to invest, that means more Americans have to kowtow to bankers and traditional financiers, who often charge exorbitant interest rates with one-sided terms. Freeing up more money for the credit unions to invest means the banks get less money, because any informed person who can use a credit union is likely to avoid bankers.

If you’re still not sure what the heck a credit union is, take a look at this 11-minute documentary short called Credit Union Movement: A Historical Portrait. It provides an overview of the movement going back to 1844, while discussing its many good deeds through the generations. Since CUNA was created during the Great Depression, the movement has done many good deeds for the American people, while consistently outperforming banks in the same sphere of economics.

Those who like the idea of getting a loan from there local credit union can find their local association through the following state links. Good luck finding the civic loans you need.

Credit Union Associations by U.S. State

To see about credit unions in your community and see if you qualify to join, find your state’s organizational website from the list below. Once at these sites, you’ll be able to find information on the local chapters nearest you. Joining a credit union gives you one more alternative to saving and borrowing from your local bankers.

Alaska Credit Union League – Information on all credit unions in Alaska, including the fact 100% are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).
League of Southeastern Credit Unions – Formed only in 2009, the LSCU comprises 298 associated credit unions with 6.3 million members and $58 billion in total assets. The League of Southeastern Credit Unions is the consolidated membership of the Florida Credit Union League and the Alabama Credit Union League.
Mountain West Credit Union Association – A regional trade association with 3.2 million members spread across 154 local credit unions in Wyoming, Colorado, and Arizona.
Arkansas Credit Union League – The ACUL is the state trade association for credit unions in Arkansas alone, with the contact number at 1-800-880-2285.
California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues – The CCUL and NCUL’s combined website, including consumer information, education services, CU business solutions, governmental affair info, a media center, CUVitality, CURoots, and background on 2012: The International Year of Cooperatives.
Credit Union League of Connecticut – Founded all the way back in 1935, the CULCT Coop advocates on behalf of a combined membership which includes 140 Connecticut credit unions. Also known as the CTCUA, this site provides consumer info, CT credit union searches, a glossary of terms, individual membership lookups, company membership profiles, a list of strategic partners, and a products & services page.
Maryland & District of Columbia Credit Union Association – The MC&DC is located in Ocean City, Maryland, and provides advocacy services, community outreach, leadership, support, and innovation for the credit union members in Maryland and Washington D.C.
Delaware Credit Union League – The DCUL has separate pages for credit unions and consumer and is a first class association. Delaware is one of the most business friendly states in the Union, while it’s court system and business professionals often are light years ahead of their counterparts across the USA. Though it’s smaller than most other organizations on this list, the Delaware Credit Union League should not be dismissed.
Georgia Credit Union Affiliates – The GCUA is helps people afford life here in this crazy early 21st century economy. If you’re a credit union, this Georgia Credit Union association can help boost the underwriting skills and loan interviewing abilities of your employees. If you’re a consumer or potential borrower, you can visit the service center, read publications, learn chapter information, find a credit union, watch CUBE TV online, read InfoSight, or look through the 2012 Vendor Guide.
Hawaiian Credit Union League – The HCUL has been around since 1937 and is a nonprofit trade association for affiliated credit cooperatives in Guam and Hawaii. This provides access to the HCU Service Corporation, which is itself a powerful force in the local business communities and government structures.
Idaho Credit Union League and Associates – Make a greater impact through creative marketing solutions with IdahoCUL. The Idaho Credit Unions have been in business since 1936 and they provide news, information, Netclient CS, Intranet, Time Force I, and Time Force II support. The ICUL offers workshops, conferences, and long distance learning for those who need to learn more. You can even order a credit union cookbook for $15.
Illinois Credit Union League – The ICULeague is an open association for any Illini credit coops which comply with the Federal Credit Union Act and the Illinois Credit Union Act. This organization offers legal services, a CU Center, information on league chapters, job opportunities, and consumer info for those in Illinois needing to know more. You’ll slo get a link to CUBE TV and reporters like Mona Shand.
Indiana Credit Union League – ICUL is one of the oldest credit union trade associations in the United States, dating back all the way to 1925, though they consider their official founding to be 1934. The association offers technical assistance, operational support, public relations assets, marketing service, legislative support, and general consultation capabilities for members. ICUL is associated with Servicecorp, the Indiana Credit Union Foundation, and iBelong.
Iowa Credit Union League – IowaCreditUnions offers great tips to “save you moolah”, manage your money, improve your credit score, give better rates on loans, savings, and credit cards, and lets you voice your mind on issues. Also, Iowan credit union employees can get better training for the challenges in their everyday.
Kansas Credit Union Association – The KCUA Coop offers education, traiing, regulation information, compliance faq, human resources, marketing assets, communications infrastructure, governmental affairs counseling, and shared financial solutions. Offers separate sections for member credit unions, consumers, press members, and policymakers.
Louisiana Credit Union League – The LCUL provides access to 2012 grants and loans, education opportunities, teleconferences, Excellence in Lending entries, and other ways to help keep the credit union philosophy alive. The Louisiana Credit Union League considers itself a pioneer and innovator in the cooperative lending and borrowing fraternity.
Massachusetts Credit Union League Inc – The MaLeague has links to CUNA, NCUA, chapters, ATM programs, Massachusetts CU’s, and the Massachusetts Division of Banks. You can lean about legislation and regulations, while also learning about the “REAL Solutions” program. The Massachusetts Credit Union League tries to approach lending with an eye towards social responsibility.
Maine Credit Union League – MaineCUL provides access to 155 credit union locations in Maine, along with 4,400 locations nationwide. Founded in 1938, The Main Credit Union League founded Synergent, once known as MECUL Services Corporation, as a separate service corporation back in 1971. These days Maine CUL is affiliacted with the National Endowment for Financial Education or NEFE, CUNA Mutual, America’s Credit Union Museum, TRICORP FCU, and CUNA.
Michigan Credit Union League – MCUL not only complies with the National Credit Union Act, but also Michigan Credit Union Small Business Jobs Bill S. 2231 and the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act, H.R. 1418 of the Michigan House of Representatives. MCUL and CUCorp has been around since 1934 and has a proud tradition in the credit union movement and strengthening the communities of the state of Michigan.
Minnesota Credit Union Network – The MNCUN tries to ensure the success and growth of member credit unions through maintaining vitality in the credit lending sector of Minnesota. Minnesota’s Credit Union Network wants to help midwestern consumers with their frustration over the difficulty in getting good credit, what they call “Bankziety”. Learn about Bankzeity and other forms of economic relief through MNCUN.
Missouri Credit Union Association – MCUA Org helps small business owners in the Show Me State, while offering informative webinars for anyone who wants to visit their site. Other services include advocacy, news, event information, and job postings.
Mississippi Credit Union Association – MSCUA is having its 75th anniversary review right now, but it also sponsors regional conferences, puts out an MS Credit Union Awareness Campaign, helps members go to direct deposit, and provides the Southeast CUNA Management School for people to learn their trade better.
Montana Credit Union Network – MCUN not only helps community development through the MCUCD program, but also helps with advocacy, government relations, communications, and PR for the credit union movement. You have to give points for their news feed’s attempt to warn people not to behave like people on reality tv, or they’ll quickly run out of money. Better yet, the Montana Credit Union Network provides links to real financial resources.
North Carolina Credit Union League – NCLeague Org provides a compliance library on state issues, cases of fraud, risk management, and the special League InfoSight resources. People can go to the professional development portion of the site for information on in-person conferences, chapter meetings, upcoming events, and legislative events. You can also share your story in the North Carolina credit union community pages, read the “People Not Profit” material, or use the social media tools on the NC League site.
Credit Union Association of the Dakotas – MidamericaCUA is the official credit union association for both North Dakota and South Dakota. Mid-American CUA offers scholarship awards, news, and educational content. Going to this site also gives you access to “The Memo”, awarded the best league newsletter at the 2011 AACUL Pro and Blockbuster Awards.
Nebraska Credit Union League – NCU or NebrCUL offers shared branching, tools for finding a CU near you, or a full credit union listing. Programs the Nebraska Credit Union League supports include the “Invest in America” and “Sprint Discount Program”.
New Hampshire Credit Union League – NHCUL provides instruction for professional development for CU employees in New Hampshire. You can read about a league overview, social responsibility, a list of insurance agencies, business solutions, and member CUs.
New Jersey Credit Union League – The NJCUL Org site has links to the Corporate Credit Union Information Center, along with resources like the Executive Leadership Series, CUMONY, Debt in Focus, and even a “Banking Your Can Trust” story contest. You’ll also find a list of NJCUL credit unions and a link to the Government and Political Affairs Center.
Credit Union Association of New Mexico – The CUANM has resources including a learning center and the CUANM Advocacy Action Center. The New Mexico Credit Union Association also supports a reloadable teen VISA program to help teach teenagers about credit cards.
Credit Union Association of New York – CUANY include an outreach program, along with credit card fee surveys, advocacy resources, special member resources, outreach, education, training, and a regulatory compliance guide.
Ohio Credit Union League – OhioCUL has the Infosight Newsletter and eLeaderzone tools other credit union websites have offered. You can also learn how to subscribe to the eLumination report, find financial education materials, or find a credit union to join.
Credit Union Association of Oklahoma – Consumers who visit the OKCU website can learn how to make safe, convenient loans which are designed to help people in the cooperative, not appeal to the whims of corporate shareholders like most financial entities do. The Oklahoma Credit Unions Coop reminds people of the credit union credo: “Not for profit, not for charity, but for service.”
Northwest Credit Union Association – The Northwest Credit Union Association serves Oregon and Washington. CUAO offers their Anthem Newsletter, their Strategic Link program, and advocacy of consumer assistance bills like Senate Bill 2231, according to the CUNA Grassroots Action Center. This is the important Credit Union Small Business Jobs Act, also known as the MBL Cap Increase. The bill would allow credit union to lend up to 27.5% of their assets, instead of the current level fo 12.25%. The idea is that these increases would free up about $13,000,000 for small business loans, creating approximately 140,000 new jobs without using one cent of taxpayers money. Banks, which prefer that small business owners should come bowing and scraping to them for loans, have objected strenuously to the new bill and have spent tons of money to derail the legislation.
Pennsylvania Credit Union Association – The PCUA offers MBL training and networking, conferences on lending and collection, and access to the Judge-Bradley leadership School. Those visiting the PCUA site can read from the “Life Is a Highway” archives, gain Cardnet Access, read chapter information, or fill out a CUPAC contribution form. Consumers also can click on the iBelon and Infosight helpers, while learning more about the Small Credit Union Network, the PA CU Foundation, or PaCUSC.
Credit Union Association of Rhode Island – CU Association RI provides researhc, professional development, and business solutions for the small business owners and consumers throughout Rhode Island. Their e-weekly newsletter includes the latest financial news and updates on political decisions which affect the credit union movement. Vising the Rhode Island Credit Union Association website also provides details on the latest seminars and conferences in the state.
South Carolina Credit Union League & Affiliates – SCCUL works to “protect, perfect, and perpetuate the credit union movement in South Carolina”. The South Carolina Credit Union League was founded in 1934 to facilitate lending to citizens in the Palmetto State. You cna learn about the league itself or the credit union movement in general on the site. You’ll also learn about local political action, Fraud Net, and be able to read their 2012 Resource Guide. Also, learn about the 2012 Laura M. Fleming Diversity Award through SCCUL Diversity Committee.
Tennessee Credit Union League – YourLeague has a number of videos online with legislative reports from Dan Spain. You can also learn about special offers from the QwickRate Connection. Additonal reading includes Fair Labor Standards updates and the Credit Union Bill of Rights. Finally, if you want to join a credit union in Tennessee, you’ll have access to full chapter information in the Volunteer State.
Texas Credit Union League – The TCUL has information for credit unions, credit union members, average consumers, legislators, and press members. The Texas Credit Union League website offers webinars, links to the Southwest CUNA Management School (which has ties to the “Neeley School of Business” at TCU in Fort Worth), and the Credit Union “New Ideas” forum. You’ll also be able to read more about Senate Bill 2231, which I’ve discussed before. Credit unions have the money to lend, but current US Federal law won’t let them spend it. Since credit union consistently have the highest marks for customer satisfaction, you have to wonder why the banking industry has fought so hard to keep the restrictive old laws in place, forcing small business owners to get more loans through the old financial centers.
Utah Credit Union Association – Utah’s Credit Unions Org provides Quickbite blog updates, along with classes on the Art of Business Etiquette. Utah credit union blogs linked to from the UCUA site include Community Involvement, Format C: A Technology Blog, Human Responses to Human Resources, Imagine That: Marketing, PR, and Design, Magnifying Glass: Looking Closer at CUs, Politico Pundito, Trainer’s Little Helper, ucuPod 15-Minute Podcasts, and Who You Callin’ Small?!: A Small CU Blog.
Virginia Credit Union League – VaCUL has its own current newsletter, along with a robust set of search tools to help Virginians gain a sounder economic footing. This includes a job search function, a consumer search engine to research a credit union, a search tab for products and services, and a compliance search to help you learn more about the current credit union laws.
Association of Vermont Credit Unions – The AVCU site gives easy access to the AVCU member credit unions, along with a full history of the credit union movement in Vermont since its inception in 1934 all the way to the current issues in 2012. The Association of Vermont Credit Union’s news feed includes Newslines Express, which contains information and news updates on credit unions in Vermont.
Wisconsin Credit Union League – The League Coop website includes “REAL Solutions®”, which provides assistance and services to members and whole communities. REAL Solutions includes the brass|Student Program, Credit Unions for Kids, a free tax prep, financial education, social media information, and social responsibility content. The site’s feed also offers online publications like Investor Ed and Money Smart Week. These days, you’ll also find frequent calls to action involving getting citizens to contact Wisconsin’s senators (Herb Kohl, Ron Johnson) to support House Bill 2231.
West Virginia Credit Union League – The WV Credit Union League website may be a little harder to navigate, but use the “WVCUL Menu” on either side of the page to learn about the 75 year history of credit unions in West Virginia. You can learn about local chapter meetings, contact leagues and services, look through their education calender, print off operations forms or supply order forms, or learn about the West Virginia Credit Union League’s League Services Corp. Started from May 2012, people can also listen to audio from the credit union experts of WVCUL.

If all that doesn’t get you excited, then let me direct you to a band which entertains while it  educates about the credit union movement: The Disclosures. The Disclosures perform their own unique brand of folk music while discussing the good works of CUNA, NCUA, and all the grassroots organizations out there.

Despite many attempts by banks to squelch the credit union movement through political lobbying, the movement is stronger in the 21st century than it’s ever been before. Borrowers who want a loan from people without a profit motive should research this unique and civic-minded network of American citizens.

These are average people just like yourself, and they have billions of dollars to lend.

About the Credit Union National Association

To read more about the Credit Union National Association. Once you start to learn about all the good the credit union movement has done in helping generations of red-blooded Americans build their own American dream, you’ll be excited about the power of economic association with your friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens.

The credit union has a much better record than banks when it comes to customer satisfaction and avoiding scandal, so be proud of your credit union membership.

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