The Credit Union Difference
Why TEFCU? Why even a Credit Union for that matter? Banks are more convenient, offer more services and products, and their ATMs are on every other corner. This is a common misconception, but there are quite a few differences that put a credit union, and more so TEFCU, on top as your primary financial institution:
What Banks Don't Want You To Know
|Have Members / Owners. Credit Unions are a financial cooperative. This means that everyone who opens an account shares an ownership in the Credit Union. At TEFCU, $25 in the share savings constitutes your membership and ownership in our credit union.||
Have Customers. Bank customers are entitled to use the bank's services. Customers do not share ownership in the bank.
|Are Not-for-Profit Organizations. Credit Unions strive to provide affordable services for members. Profits that are made are returned to our members through higher dividends and lower cost services and fees.||Are for Profit Corporations. Banks make profits for their shareholders, usually a small group of investors. And remember, with a bank, you are not a shareholder!|
|Charge Less for Services. Credit Unions traditionally offer accounts with lower or no monthly fees and lower or no minimum balance requirements. Also, we can usually charge lower loan interest rates because again, we're not-for-profit.||Charge More for Services. Banks generally offer accounts with higher fees and larger minimum balance requirements. Plus, their loan rates are usually higher than credit unions. After all, they are out to make money off of each customer.|
|Have Limited Membership. Credit Unions are limited to serving people in their service area, or "field of membership." TEFCU makes agreements with local businesses to offer our products and services to their employees. If you are an employee of these Select Employee Groups - you're eligible to join!||
Can Serve Anyone. Banks are designed to be profitable for their shareholders. Therefore, the number of customers and the fees charged to these customers are important to pay dividends to shareholders.
|Are apart of ATM Networks. Credit Unions usually do not have an ATM on every corner, but we are all apart of different ATM Networks. Anywhere you see the logo's on the back of your ATM or debit card, you can use ATMs with those same logos. For TEFCU, try a 7-Eleven! We are a part of the COOP, STAR, & CU24 networks that allow you to have surcharge free transactions.||Have Extensive Networks of ATMs. Banks do have more ATMs for their customers than Credit Unions. But with more ATMs come more costs. And where do they recoup these costs? By charging higher rates and higher fees. Everything goes back to how a Bank can make a profit from you.|
Not convinced? It may be time to talk to a TEFCU Member Services Representative at (202) 832-5100. We'd be happy to show you the TEFCU difference and how we can help change your life.