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The Benefits of Credit Union Membership in 2024: A Comprehensive Guide

This post is sponsored by Canopy Credit Union. Learn more about Canopy Credit Union here.

When it comes to deciding on a banking partner, there are countless options. In 2024, you can choose from a variety of financial institutions such as banks, fintechs (online banks) and credit unions. 

Taking time to find a financial institution that works for you is vital to your financial health. Out of all the banking options available, credit unions stand out as financial partners focused on supporting their members and community. Partnering with a credit union that cares about you will help you take steps forward on your financial wellness journey. 

What is a credit union? 

A credit union is a cooperative financial institution, meaning it is both owned and operated by its members. A cooperative invests in its community to help it thrive, and when it does, its owners thrive in return. That means everyone gets a share in the credit union’s profits, and every single member has an equal vote in electing the volunteer board of directors. 

The beautiful part of cooperatives is that they benefit everyone involved. When someone becomes a member, the credit union is able to offer more affordable and accessible products and services to everyone. 

Insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members. Credit unions are different from banks in that banks operate under a for-profit business model, are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), are owned by shareholders, and are led by a paid board of directors.

Another difference is that credit unions have qualifications that people must meet in order to become a members. For example, at Canopy Credit Union, you are eligible for membership if you live, work, worship, go to school or are a member of a partner association in Spokane, Pend Oreille or Stevens County, WA.

Canopy is a local credit union, headquartered in Spokane, WA. Since its founding in 1956, Canopy has focused on serving its members as a “right-sized” credit union – not too big that members are just a number, but not too small so it can offer all the resources and tools people need to succeed. Canopy’s vision is to grow a happier and healthier community through financial inclusion.

Five benefits of being a credit union member

When considering what type of financial institution to partner with, it is important to know what makes a banking relationship successful. If you are looking for a financial institution that cares about getting to know you as a person and is equipped to guide you on your journey to financial wellness, credit unions are the place to go! Because of credit unions’ focus on serving their members, they offer these special benefits.

Better interest rates

Compared to other financial institutions, the structure of credit unions allows them to offer competitive interest rates on loans and deposits. Credit unions focus on prioritizing member satisfaction over maximizing profits. That means credit unions can often offer lower loan interest rates and higher yields on depositing accounts. For members, that can mean substantial savings over time. Not to mention credit unions have fewer fees than other financial institutions.

Personalized service

Even in a digital age, there is something powerful about great customer service. Credit unions focus on a high level of service and strive to build trust with members through every interaction. Whether you’re applying for a loan, opening a savings account, or seeking financial advice, credit union staff take the time to understand your unique needs and provide tailored solutions. This human touch fosters trust and loyalty, creating lasting relationships that extend beyond mere transactions.

At Canopy, this personalized touch is centered around getting to know members’ whole stories. Instead of making decisions just based on someone’s credit score and financial history, Canopy takes time to understand a member’s whole journey and then works with them to find a solution that will work for them. 

Canopy offers FREE financial coaching for members and non-members! Coaches are trained to help people plan their financial future, create budgets, understand their credit score and so much more. Through conversations focused on financial education, coaches help people achieve their dreams. 

Innovative solutions

In order to effectively serve their members, credit unions strive to be at the forefront of innovation. Offering mobile apps for banking, online chats to talk to credit union staff and more, credit unions are equipped to serve members day in and day out. Credit unions leverage technology to enhance member experience while maintaining their commitment to security and privacy.

Involved in the community 

Credit unions across the world all believe in the power of people helping people. This value shines through the work they do to give back to the community. Credit unions are, by nature, a reflection of the values and priorities of their members. 

At Canopy, we make it our mission to be sure we represent those values to the fullest possible degree. We put our time, talents, and resources to use helping make our community a better place. Our staff actively volunteer at a variety of community organizations and nonprofits that are also committed to helping our community flourish. Through financial coaching, financial education workshops, sponsorships and volunteerism, Canopy strives to give back to the community it serves.

Your money matters

Banking locally with a credit union means that your money matters! When you deposit your money in a credit union, you contribute to a greater cause. As a member, you are an integral part of a collective effort to build a stronger, healthier financial future for everyone the credit union serves.

To learn more about credit unions and Canopy Credit Union, log on to canopycu.com.

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