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  • Entertainment Industries Federal Credit Union

    Entertainment Industries Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Entertainment Industries Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Elizabeth, New Jersey, serving members since 1975.
    • Manages $16.56 Million in assets and serves over 2,000 members.

    Membership: If you live within the designated area the credit union serves.

  • 1ST Bergen Federal Credit Union

    1ST Bergen Federal Credit Union Membership

    • 1st Bergen Credit Union is headquartered in Hackensack, New Jersey and has been serving members since 2009.
    • Manages $8.91 Million in assets and serves over 2,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, worship, volunteer, attend school, or conduct business in Bergen County, Ocean County, Paterson, or Jersey City, NJ.

  • Affinity FCU logo

    Affinity Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Affinity Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit, full-service financial institution with branches throughout northern and central New Jersey.
    • Largest credit union in New Jersey with assets totaling $3.61 Billion and providing banking services to more than 184,000 members.

    Membership: Membership at Affinity is available to the employees of participating businesses, as well as immediate family or household members.

  • Rutgers FCU logo

    Rutgers Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Rutgers Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Piscataway, New Jersey and has been serving members since 1954,
    • Manages $89.68 Million in assets and serves over 7,000 members.

    Membership: Open to faculty, staff, students, and alumni of Rutgers University.

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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