We are living in difficult financial times. Inflation makes everyday necessities more expensive, and there are rumbles about a recession on the horizon. Times like these can make people nervous about their finances—not just how much they have at a given time, but whether their money is safe.
But don’t pull your money out of your accounts and stuff it under your mattress just yet. Thankfully, your credit union is here to provide financial security in any economic climate. They have a history of doing so!
Credit Unions Were Born from Economic Uncertainty
Fun fact: Credit unions began during The Great Depression. In 1934, President Roosevelt passed the Federal Credit Union Act. This law created a national credit union system and allowed low-income earners a way to access credit.
Credit unions came from the cooperative movement of the late 19th century in Europe, when self-governed groups would work together towards a common goal. This people-centric point of view gave rise to one of the critical tenants of credit unions: ownership.
Credit Unions Belong to Their Members
Unlike traditional banks, which belong to their shareholders, credit unions belong exclusively to you, the member. And because you, an average citizen, are the primary stakeholder at a credit union, your credit union can put its resources and energy into better serving you and other members and the communities you share.
How Credit Unions Support Their Members During Difficult Times
Since a credit union doesn’t have to distribute their profits to nameless stockholders (like Big Bank does), they can focus their efforts on helping members succeed financially and return earnings to members through lower fees and better rates.
Helping Members Save Money
Credit unions encourage their members to optimize their savings by offering high dividends on accounts across the board, not just your traditional certificate and market money accounts. For example, there are high-yielding checking accounts like Kasasa Cash® from Trailhead Credit Union, which pays massive dividends and refunds ATM fees nationwide (when qualifications are met).
Helping Members Consolidate Debt
Financially troubling times become more complicated if you have a lot of debt. Credit unions can help their members pay down high-rate loans more efficiently by offering debt consolidation programs. These programs allow you to refinance your highest-rate loans into a single, low-rate loan, making it easier to pay off when money is tight.
Helping Members Keep Their Information Safe
Economic downturns can often bring out more shady characters looking to prey on people’s anxieties about money. Credit unions offer their members the tools and resources to keep their personal information safe and spot a scheme when they see one.
Helping Members Plan for Their Financial Goals
Planning for your financial future may seem challenging when you’re just trying to make ends meet. Your credit union can help you keep your goals on track through financial counseling and advisory, as well as free calculators that can help you plan for purchases like a down payment on a house or savings goals like retirement. Check out Trailhead’s calculators right here >>