Credit unions today offer all the benefits of big banks, along with a slew of perks the others can’t match. Yet some myths persist, so we called on our myth busters to set the record straight.
Busted! Membership Is Limited
While many credit unions were founded to serve a select group of people, most have since expanded well beyond their initial charters. For example, Freedom Credit Union was originally chartered as the Western Massachusetts Telephone Workers Credit Union in 1922. However, membership is now open to people who live, work or attend school in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin or Berkshire counties in Massachusetts, and, as we recently announced, Hartford and Tolland counties in Connecticut. In addition, once you become a member, your entire family is eligible to join, regardless of where they live or work, and you remain a member even if you move.
Busted! It’s Harder to Access My Money
Credit unions have kept pace with technology, which means you have access to your money and accounts 24/7 thanks to features like online and mobile banking. At Freedom, we offer the convenience of a mobile app, online banking and a digital wallet. Bank when you want, where you want, including paying bills, checking balances, depositing checks, transferring funds and more. If you need cash fast, you can stop by any of our 11 locations throughout western Massachusetts or through surcharge-free ATMs worldwide. Surcharge-free ATMs are available at each of our Freedom Credit Union branches, and through the Allpoint® and SUM® ATM networks. Allpoint® is a network of over 55,000 ATMs throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom and Australia. Allpoint® ATMs are located at several retailers around the world, including Costco®, CVS/pharmacy®, Rite Aid Pharmacy®, Speedway®, Target®, and Walgreens®.
Busted! Credit Unions are Too Small
In reality, credit unions come in all shapes and sizes. Freedom Credit Union currently has $491 million in assets with more than 33,000 members. That makes us the perfect size to offer security and a comprehensive breadth of services, along with personalized attention and a commitment to treat every member as an individual. As a member, you also have a say in how the credit union is run. You can vote for the Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting held every April, and even run for a position on the Board. Your credit union works for you; as a not-for-profit organization, we return profits to our members in the form of high rates on deposit accounts, low rates on loans and low or no fees for our services.
Busted! Credit Unions are for those Who Need Financial Help
Who among us couldn’t benefit from things like higher interest rates on savings and lower rates on loans? We offer options and services for wherever you are on your financial journey. Whether you are looking to buy your first car or a second home, saving for college or retirement, we’ll help you make your money work for you. Becoming a member requires only a $5 deposit into a Primary Share Savings Account, but we also offer higher yield money market accounts with a $2,000 minimum balance and tiered interest rates. There’s no minimum age for membership, and it’s never too soon to start saving.
There you have it—4 myths about credit unions, busted! We’re always happy to answer questions and help you design the financial solutions that meet your needs. Reach out or stop by any of our branches to learn how to maximize your membership today.