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  • Fortera Credit Union

    Fortera Credit Union Membership

    • Fortera Credit Union is headquartered in Clarksville, TN, and has been serving members since 1954.
    • Manages over $875.5 million in assets and serves over 78,100 members.

    Membership: Lives, works, worships, or attends school in one of our service regions in Tennessee and Kentucky.

  • Centric Federal Credit Union

    Centric Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Centric Federal Credit Union is headquartered in West Monroe, LA, and has been serving members since 1937.
    • Manages over $368 million in assets and serves over 42,200 members.

    Membership: Lives, works, worships, or attends school in select Louisiana and Arkansas Counties.

  • Hope Credit Union

    Hope Credit Union Membership

    • Hope Credit Union is headquartered in Jackson, MS, and has been serving members since 1995.
    • Manages over $579.2 million in assets and serves over 39,200 members.

    Membership: Open to individuals and organizations who join Hope Enterprise Corporation.

  • Soarian Credit Union

    Soarian Credit Union Membership

    • Soarian Credit Union is headquartered in San Antonio, TX, and has been serving members since 1952.
    • Manages over $663 million in assets and serves over 54,000 members.

    Membership: If you live, work, worship, or attend school, or have a business or other legal entity located within the credit union’s service area.

  • Diamond Lakes Federal Credit Union

    Diamond Lakes Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Diamond Lakes Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Malvern, Arkansas and has been serving members since 1960.
    • 8th largest credit union in Arkansas, managing $83.9 Million in assets and serving over 9,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly do business in six counties served in Arkansas.

  • UP Federal Credit Union

    UP Federal Credit Union Membership

    • UP Arkansas Federal Credit Union is headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas and has been serving members since 1971.
    • 19th largest credit union in Arkansas, managing $31.18 Million in assets and serving over 3,000 members.

    Membership: Almost any Arkansas resident can qualify or may be eligible for membership.

  • Pine Bluff Cotton Belt Federal Credit Union

    Pine Bluff Cotton Belt Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Pine Bluff Cotton Belt Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and has served members since 1936.
    • 11th largest credit union in Arkansas, managing $69.33 Million in assets and serving over 6,000 members.

    Membership: Employees, retirees and family members of many local companies.

  • TruService Community Federal Credit Union

    TruService Community Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Truservice Community Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas and has served members since 1976.
    • 16th largest credit union in Arkansas, managing $51.85 Million in assets and serving over 5,000 members.

    Membership: You live, work, worship, and attend school in specific counties in Arkansas.

  • Arkansas Federal Credit Union

    Arkansas Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Arkansas Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas and has been serving members since 1956
    • The largest credit union in Arkansas, managing $2.31 Billion in assets and serving over 151,000 members.

    Membership: Live or work in Arkansas or have family who are existing members of the credit union.

What is Banking?

Banking is a form of money management using products and services related to savings and loans.

Different Types of Financial Institutions

Banks

Banks are what we typically associate with banking. They come in different sizes: local, national, traditional and online-only. Federal or state agencies supervise banks. The FDIC insures deposits of participating banks.

Credit Unions

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions. They offer products and services similar to banks with a focus on member service, not profit. The NCUA insures deposits from participating credit unions.

Alternative Financial Services

Many fintechs are non-chartered financial services companies that offer banking services. You might think of them as an app offering checking and savings accounts, debit cards, payments, etc. They are not banks but work with partner banks or credit unions to hold your deposits.

Types of Banking Accounts

Banking accounts help make financial transactions convenient.

Savings Account

A savings account helps you save your money. You’re storing your money for future use and hopefully earning a reasonable interest rate. Interest is the money you earn for letting the bank keep your money. Some financial institutions impose minimum deposits, withdrawal limits, and fees.

Checking Account

A checking account is a transactional account that allows you to make deposits and withdrawals of your money anytime. Checking accounts is not the best place to store your money, as the goal of the account is for use, not saving.

Most checking accounts do not pay interest, but some do. Be mindful of transaction limits, minimum balance requirements, and fees.

Debit Card

Checking accounts come with a debit card enabling you to spend your money conveniently. A debit card allows for making purchases at stores and online shopping. You can only spend the money that’s in your checking account. Additionally, you can use your debit card at ATMs to make deposits, withdrawals, check balances, and transfers between accounts.

Money Market Account

A money market account is a type of hybrid savings and checking account. It tends to have higher deposit requirements but often pays more interest than a savings account.

Certificate of Deposit (CD)

A certificate of deposit, also known as a CD, helps you save money with a set interest rate for a specific amount of time. Your cash is term-locked. In exchange, you get a higher interest rate compared to a traditional savings account. Certificate terms can start at 30 days and go to 5 or more years.

How to Choose the Best Banking Service

You have many choices on the type of account to use and the variety of financial institutions available. So, shop around. Ask the following questions to help you narrow down your choices:

  • What are the products and services offered?
  • What are the fees?
  • Are there minimum balance requirements?
  • Do I need a physical location (like a branch) or prefer better mobile app services?
  • Does local banking matter or is national big bank convenient?
  • Are deposits FDIC or NCUA insured?
  • How to access your money?
  • Debit card? ATM network?
  • Can I set auto-transfers, auto-payments, and alerts?

You want to determine how the banking provider aligns with your needs, the cost of services, safety, security, and overall convenience.

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