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5 Reasons to Choose a Wisconsin Credit Union for Your Banking Needs

Discover why choosing a Wisconsin credit union can offer community-focused, low-cost banking solutions that benefit both members and their communities.

Are you considering switching from using a bank to using a credit union? Credit unions have a long history of putting the needs of both their members and their communities first. You can achieve greater financial freedom and greater peace of mind with a switch like that! Here are five reasons to choose a Wisconsin credit union for your banking needs:

1. Credit Unions Are Not-for-Profit

First, the difference between how banks and credit unions operate is a great reason to choose a credit union for your financial needs. Banks and credit unions have similar products, such as checking and savings accounts, loans, and credit cards. However, the philosophies behind how they run differ.

A bank is a for-profit entity that answers to its stockholders. Therefore, it has little reason to give its customers breaks on fees or to offer better interest rates. At the end of the fiscal year, its stockholders get a payout in the form of dividends, but it’s rare that customers see any of those returns.

A credit union, on the other hand, is a not-for-profit financial institution, and it is owned by its members. While members don’t own stock in the credit union, they see benefits in the form of lower interest rates on loans and higher dividends on savings and checking accounts. There are typically fewer fees, and where there are fees, they’re generally lower than at banks.

2. Wisconsin Credit Unions Are Community Focused

Historically, credit unions have been formed when a group of people wanted to start a financial institution to serve the needs of a particular group, such as a group of employees. Capital Credit Union, for instance, was formed under the laws of the State of Wisconsin as Kimberly Credit Union in 1934 for the employees of Kimberly Clark and their families. The office was originally located inside the Kimberly-Clark Mill!

In 1970, the charter was changed to a community credit union, meaning that anyone with ties to the community could join the organization (more on that in a moment). Today, CCU serves over 118,000 members throughout northeast Wisconsin.

Having a long history in the area gives credit unions strong community connections, and they strive to help both their members and the communities they live in thrive. Wisconsin credit unions like Capital CU sponsor outreach events, partner with local charities, and volunteer around the community to show their support.

3. Wisconsin Credit Unions Are Easy to Join

Opening a credit union account is easy! You can apply online or in person to become a member and open an account. All you need is your Social Security number and driver’s license or ID card. Then you can move money into your new account and manage your money with digital banking.

As we mentioned above, you’ll typically need some tie to the community to be eligible for membership at a credit union. You may be required to work, live, attend school, own property, or own a business in the region. Or you might be eligible if you belong to a certain organization in the community. Many credit unions also offer membership to those who have family members who are already members.

Capital Credit Union serves residents, employees, business owners, students, and property owners in the northeastern Wisconsin counties of Brown, Calumet, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, and Winnebago.

4. Credit Unions Offer Account Amenities

Account perks are just as rigorous at credit unions as at larger, traditional banks—if not more so. For instance, you can expect to see amenities such as overdraft protection. If you spend more money than you have in your account and end up with a negative balance, many financial institutions will charge an overdraft fee. In fact, these fees are one of the most expensive and common checking account fees since you may incur multiple overdraft fees in one day if you aren’t aware of the low balance in your account.

However, a credit union that offers overdraft protection can help you avoid these fees by automatically transferring funds from your attached savings account or temporarily covering the cost of the overdraft until you correct it.

Other amenities could include ATM fee refunds or loan rate discounts for members. Sign up for a niche account and receive credits for the things you love, such as music. Cash-back options may be available to you as well. So might discounts around the community just for becoming a member.

5. Credit Unions Prioritize Financial Education

You know your situation best, so you should feel empowered to make healthy financial decisions. But if you don’t know how, or why, or what, money can create a lot of stress. Finances can be an emotional topic, and sometimes it’s difficult to understand and difficult to make choices when you don’t have the full picture. Credit unions take financial education seriously and often offer members—and the general public—online resources and classes to help them manage their money and achieve their financial goals.

Tips and instruction from experts cover a wide range of banking topics, such as credit scores, budgeting, mortgages, retirement planning, and more. This is a great way to develop healthy skills and a smart relationship with your money. At Capital CU, we love it when our members are empowered to make financial decisions that are right for them. And if you’re interested in further reading, we have an excellent and extensive blog with ideas to get you started with personal finance, financial security, and other topics.

A Wisconsin credit union is a great place to do your banking. Not only do we support the community around us, but we love to support you! Contact Capital Credit Union today to learn more or sign up for your own personal or business accounts. We hope to see you soon.

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