When you walk into our lobby, or call a loan officer, what makes Coosa Pines different from a bank may not immediately be apparent.
The two financial institutions may offer similar products and services. But the similarities stop there. Crucial differences exist -- in ownership, in cost of borrowing money, and in use of services.
1. You own your credit union.
Credit unions are member-owned nonprofit financial cooperatives
dedicated to improving members' lives. More than 91 million members own 7,794 U.S. credit unions with combined assets of $886 billion. Stockholders own banks. Banks make money for stockholders, not for customers.
Credit unions are the only democratically controlled financial institutions in the United States. You and other members elect a volunteer board of directors to oversee the credit union. The manager or president/ chief executive officer reports to this board. Bank directors, however, are paid and legally bound to make decisions that benefit stockholders, not customers.
2. Credit unions have the best rates.
Credit unions price loans
, pay dividends
on funds you've deposited, and charge fees
to provide you with high-quality, low-cost services. Banks price products and services to make a profit.
Credit union money market, savings, and checking accounts carry higher rates -- giving back more to members. Interest rates on credit cards
and auto loans
average one to one-half percentage points lower than bank rates. Credit unions make consumer loans and some member business loans. Banks offer consumer loans, but really emphasize business loans.
3. Credit unions educate members about money matters.
They provide informative tools such as this website to keep you advised of rates, loan sales, and financial trends that affect you. Coosa Pines FCU stresses education, providing materials to local schools and offering free, interactive online education -- on topics like earning and spending
, car buying
, couples and money
, and retirement
-- to help you make informed financial decisions. Many banks simply advertise their rates and sell their services.
Because you're an owner of Coosa Pines, you have a say in how we do business.
Let us know how you think we're doing, and what services you want at your credit union.
After all, we're here for you!
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