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  4. How to determine if a bank or credit union is right for you

The ongoing conversation on which is better “a bank or a credit union” often leads into a “banks versus credit union” debate. Banks and credit unions offer very similar products and services so figuring out which is right for you may be based on personal preferences such as accessibility. The main differences are in the ownership and profit motives which may not be a big enough concern for many to choose one over the other.

To determine which financial institution is right for you is knowing what’s important to you such as local access, brand recognition or sense of community.

In some instances, a credit union may be a top choice and in others a community bank may be better. Consider looking at the fee structures, interest rates and convenience options. These are typically the three areas most consumers consider when choosing a financial institution.

Not all banks or credit unions are created equally so do your research before choosing which financial institution share your values and offer the products/services you need.

Assess each financial institution based on:

  • Products offered based on products needed.
  • Services needed such as branch locations, ATM access, online and mobile features.
  • Compare fees on accounts and services.
  • Determine how much technology or personal service you require to help you decide between a big bank, community bank, a large credit union or a small local credit union.

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