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  • Excite Credit Union

    Excite Credit Union Membership

    Excite Credit Union is headquartered in San Jose, California and has been serving members since 1952.
    Manages $709.21 Million in assets and serves over 46,000 members.

    Membership: Eligible to those who live, work, worship, or attend school in specific counties in California and North Carolina.

  • Local Government Federal Credit Union

    Local Government Federal Credit Union Credit Union Membership

    • Local Government Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina and has been serving members since 1983.
    • 4th largest credit union in North Carolina, managing $4.06 Billion in assets and serving over 406,000 members.

    Membership: Serves North Carolina’s local government employees, volunteers, elected and appointed officials, and their families.

  • Truliant Federal Credit Union

    Truliant Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Truliant Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and has been serving members since 1952.
    • 3rd largest credit union in North Carolina, managing $4.72 Billion in assets and serving over 324,000 members.

    Membership: Eligibility includes if you live, work, worship or attend school in a county near one of Truliant’s branches.

  • Coastal CU logo

    Coastal Credit Union Membership

    • Coastal Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative located in Raleigh, North Carolina offering checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, HELOCs, auto loans, and more
    • 2nd largest credit union in North Carolina with assets totaling $3.73 Billion and serving more than 272,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, worship, and attend school in select communities in North Carolina.

  • State Employees' Credit Union logo

    State Employees Credit Union Membership

    • State Employees is the largest credit union in North Carolina, offering banking and financial services.
    • Assets total $42.85 billion, and serving more than 2.49 million members.
    Membership: Membership is limited to employees of the state of North Carolina.

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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