It\u2019s important to keep a few things in mind when considering to switch from a bank to a credit union, a bank to another bank or a credit union to another credit union.\r\n\r\nFirst, understand your banking needs.Do you need to have branch access or 24 hour service?\u00a0Or are you more hands off and rely on online banking and mobile apps?\u00a0Is interest earned important to you?\u00a0Lastly, know the kind of fees you\u2019re paying and if the services are worth the cost.\r\n\r\nBefore deciding on switching from your bank to a credit union, do the following:\r\n\r\n \tEvaluate your current financial institution\u2019s services.\u00a0What type of relationship do you have with them? What fees are you paying? What do you like and absolutely hate? If you\u2019re sticking around with a big bank because they are convenient but you haven\u2019t stepped into a branch or used an ATM in months, it might be time to look for cheaper alternatives.\r\n \tWrite down what you want.\u00a0It\u2019s important to know what you need such as a checking account and debit card for making purchases and paying bills. But, also know about the types of services you want like access to ATMs, online banking, mobile apps and bill payment services you actually use.\r\n \tGo shopping.\u00a0Once you know the services you have and the services you actually need it\u2019s now time to shop around for the best alternative. It could be a credit union.\r\n\r\nCredit unions are definitely a great alternative to big banks. However, not all credit unions are created equal. Some credit unions act like banks while others stay true to their cooperative founding principles.\r\n\r\nCredit unions offer a wide array of benefits because of their not-for-profit structure. \u00a0These benefits range from lower or no fees, better interest rates on savings and loans as well as a more customer centric approach. In fact, you\u2019re a member of a credit union not a customer.\r\n\r\nOn the other hand, big banks have more resources and can offer a bit more. It\u2019s easier to spot them in every corner and find their ATMs. But, the larger network is also more costly to maintain hence the added fees.\r\n\r\nFinally, nothing beats an actual person you can speak with when things go bad with your accounts. Credit unions are smaller and it can be easier to speak to an actual person who can help. A bank on the other hand may have a few more corporate restrictions where representatives are limited in what they can do.