Why people are choosing credit unions over banks

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By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

PHOENIX -- You drive by and may not even notice them, but credit unions are everywhere. As a result, consumers are taking notice and becoming members.

"You get more personalized service," one Phoenix resident said.

That may be the top reason why credit unions are gaining in popularity. Why? Well, credit unions are nonprofit. Advocates say that means they're more interested in pleasing you and not turning a profit to please stockholders.

"I think it's a little more personalized," a credit union customer said. "It's smaller and they know me when I come in."

Another reason is credit unions usually have low or no minimum balance requirements. Why should you have to pay a fee just because your balance drops a little? Credit unions are known to have lower fees in general, so check around and find out for yourself.

Also, advocates say credit unions traditionally have lower interest rates on just about everything.

“The fees and interest rates are lower on car loans,” a customer explained.

The same is said to be true for mortgages and credit cards, so you could save some money. Also if you're worried about a credit union account, don't be. Accounts are insured, which is just another reason why consumers are leaving traditional banks.
"I think I feel safer using credit unions especially now with all the news I hear about banks," said one customer.”

By the way, last month alone, 650,000 new consumers across the nation joined credit unions.