A Second Chance: Credit Unions

By: Tom Ambrozewicz

A credit union is an organization available to individuals based on their place of residence or employment. It works a lot like a bank but offer loans exclusively to their members that are usually of a lower interest rate. Those who deposit money are able to also borrow money because it is run by its members. This is the perfect place for someone who earns a steady paycheck but has somehow managed to accumulate bad credit because the community is familiar with each other enough to base loans on character. A bank will turn you down in an instant if your credit rating is not favorable, but with a credit union you have a chance to state your case before you are approved or denied.

You could benefit financially just for being a member of a credit union. A savings account in a bank will accumulate interest that is given to your account over time. It is determined by a small percentage of what your balance is over time. Credit unions pay higher dividends to their members and the interest rates on any loans you must pay back will be much lower. Any profits that are accumulated will go into serving the members because it is a non-profit organization that is run entirely by volunteers in the community.

There are various ways of finding out which credit unions are available to you based on your employment, residence, or involvement in an organization. If you have a steady job, you can ask your employer if there is one for which you are eligible based on your involvement with the company. There may also be a member of your family who belongs to a credit union that encourages members to have their families join. In most areas you may be available to join based on your place of residence. It is viewed as a way for the community to work together as one to take care of one another.

Everyone needs to be a member of a financial institution in order to build credit, gain eligibility to take out a loan if it is needed, and also to have a reference of stability on his or her credit report. Many people prefer credit unions to banks because they are welcoming and community oriented. Since they are non-profit, you will not have to pay a fee to be a member and take advantage on the positive things they have to offer. This will give anyone who has a bad credit history a chance to still be eligible for loans and rebuilding their credit score.

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