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What’s Different Between a Bank and Credit Union?

What’s Different Between a Bank and Credit Union

If you’ve never worked with a credit union before, you may be wondering how a credit union differs from a bank. In fact, even if you have held an account with a credit union in the past, you could still have some questions. InRoads Credit Union has been helping folks like you for over 75 years. We know the many advantages that credit unions provide. But we also know that you can’t take advantage of benefits that you don’t even know exist, which is why we put this list together for you.

Nonprofit vs. Profit

One major difference between banks and credit unions is that banks are for-profit institutions, whereas credit unions are not. This is an important distinction. Since credit unions are not-for-profit institutions, we’re able to pass along more savings to you, our members. Whereas banks may be using their profits to line the pockets of their investors, credit unions are able to keep more money in your wallet. Our main focus is on how we can best serve our members, as well as our community.

One of our priorities is to make a difference through charitable giving. That’s why in 2019 alone, our employees had volunteered almost 200 hours of their time. InRoads has also donated more than $11,000 to local nonprofits and raised more than $45,000 for local high schools. And because we believe in paving a path to financial success for our youth, our financial education program has helped more than 300 local kids become skilled in financial literacy.

When you join InRoads Credit Union, you’re not only becoming a member of a credit union. You are also actively taking part in giving back to your community.

Fewer Fees, Better Rates

At InRoads, we also believe in giving back to you, our members. That’s why we’re able to pass along savings to you in the form of fewer fees and lower loan interest rates. That includes mortgages, personal loans, and credit cards. We also offer highly competitive rates on auto loans, as well as loans for motorcycles, RVs, and boats. For a full list of interest rates and loan products, look here.

In addition to low interest rates on loans, credit unions often have lower fees and typically offer higher yields on deposits than national banks. Take a look at our Cash Rewards checking account, for example. Unlike many other financial institutions, we don’t charge any monthly fees for the account. We also offer overdraft protection and all ATM withdrawal fees are refunded, up to $20 a month. All of this could add up to hundreds of dollars in savings per member over the course of a year.

Membership vs. Non-Membership

Another important distinction between banks and credit unions is that banks will service anyone, but you have to be a member in order to join a credit union. Typically, in order to become a member, you have to meet certain requirements or have certain characteristics in common with other members.

For instance, InRoads members must have ties to Columbia, Clatsop, Cowlitz, Multnomah, or Washington counties. This includes living, working, volunteering, or worshipping in these areas. Immediate family members of existing credit union members are eligible to join as well.

This means that along with membership in our credit union, you’ll also get a sense of community and belonging. Our members benefit from a variety of services that we are able to provide free of charge. For example, you’ll be able to take full advantage of our financial counseling services once you become a member. To get started, complete this workbook to create a budget and begin tackling debt.

We also offer a workplace wellness program to help your employees become financially fit. We provide educational materials and “Lunch and Learn” workshops so your employees will learn how to become more financially stable. When your employees are less stressed about their finances, you’ll reap the benefits through increased focus and productivity at work. This is yet another service we are able to provide to our members free of charge.

Family Oriented

InRoads was founded in 1938 and has been helping families for eight decades. Today, we remain just as family oriented as we were when we first began. We understand that your financial future is dependent upon your financial savvy, which begins at a young age. That’s why we’ve devoted our time and resources to make sure your kids understand how money works.

We offer a checking account designed for teenagers. We also provide extensive information on saving for college, financial aid, and student loans. We can also help you set up an Oregon College Savings Plan to help your child pay for college expenses.

In addition to our options for teenagers, we also provide a Young Savers Share Certificate. This option is available for those under the age of 12. The 36-month certificate has a great interest rate and allows you the opportunity to save for major expenses, such as a computer purchase or a starter fund for college.

If this sounds like something you want to be a part of and you have community ties to our area, apply to be a member. You’ll begin to enjoy the many benefits that membership with InRoads provides. So start securing your family’s financial future by taking steps to get on the path of financial freedom with InRoads today.