Why Credit Union Membership is Far Better than Giving
Your Hard-Earned Money to Big-Bank Turkeys
First, credit unions are member-owned. What does that mean? When you open your "membership" with the credit union, which is a $5 deposit to a share (savings) account, you own one share in the credit union. Your member-owner status gives you an equal say in how our credit union is run. Members elect a volunteer board of directors from their own communities to oversee credit union operations. The board of directors, and all credit union staff, work for the members and in the members' best interest. Read "Why Coosa Pines?" for more.
- With Big-Banks, you're another customer, not an owner. Even if you own stock in the bank -- unless you own a lot of stock -- you have no say in who serves on the paid board or in how their bank is run. The board members, who do not have to be the bank's customers, can be from anywhere... usually a long way from your communities. The board and staff work to make a profit for shareholders, not customers.
Second, credit unions are for people, not profit. This means that excess earnings -- beyond reserve requirements and the cost to operate the credit union -- are returned to members by way of much fewer and lower fees, lower interest rates on loans, and competitive dividends on savings. When members are doing well, the credit union does well, so your financial well-being is in our best interest. That's why you're our first priority.
- Big-Banks are in business for profit, which is not necessarily a bad thing, unless they profit from the hardship of their customers. Big-Banks generally have many more fees, and fees much higher than credit unions. Their loan rates and terms -- such as auto loans, personal loans, credit cards and other consumer loans -- can't match those of credit unions. Profit, not people, are their first priority.
Third, credit unions are a true democracy. All members have one share and one vote in the credit union, regardless of how much money they have on deposit. Whether you have $5.00 or $50,000 on deposit, you are entitled to all the great services that Coosa Pines has to offer! And you'll be treated like a VIP, because as a member, you are a Very Important Person to us. Read "What is a Credit Union?" for more.
- With Big-Banks, the people with the most money and the most stock decide who serves on the board. Their directors are paid, not volunteers, and answer to the same influential people who elected them, not the average customer. They strive to sell customers loans and products at the highest cost possible, producing the most revenue.
Like banks, credit unions are federally insured. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is a federal agency that oversees credit unions and insures our deposits, just as the FDIC does for banks. But there's more... we're not only insured by NCUA, but are also insured by Excess Share Insurance (ESI), the nation's largest private share insurance provider. We are able to provide this extra coverage because we have been stable and secure for so long -- since 1950.
Double-coverage means that our members are covered to $500,000 instead of $250,000. Depending on how accounts are structured, you can be insured for a lot more, because IRAs, joint accounts and individual accounts are insured separately. If you have questions on deposit insurance, feel free to call on us anytime.
• Big-Banks are federally insured by FDIC to $250,000.
Our credit union has never taken a single dime of taxpayer bail-out funds. In fact, this year we returned more than $300,000 to our members by way of a 5% bonus dividend on 2010 share dividends earned and a 5% interest refund on 2010 loan interest paid -- in addition to the great rates on loans and deposits that members already receive. That's $300,000 that was pumped into -- not out of -- our local economy!
- Big-Banks received a significant portion of the $594 billion in bail-out funds disbursed from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), in addition to billions of dollars in emergency loans from the Federal Reserve. About $279 billion has been returned, and the government has earned about $71 billion on investments, which leaves about $244 billion outstanding as of November 9, 2011. (Source: ProPublica.org) For more information, read "Where Is the Money? Eye on the Bailout" which tracks every taxpayer dollar of bailout money to every institution, at ProPublica.org.
So when you're ready to talk turkey, and get serious about making the change to a member-owner of your own financial institution, give us a call or stop by any of our five locations. We'd be happy to tell you how great it is to be a Coosa Pines FCU member!