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How Credit Unions Can Aid a Member’s Economic Recovery

When you belong to a credit union, you’re always more than just another customer.

Like most credit unions, Moya Financial puts the financial well-being of our members ahead of corporate profits. We’re not in business to make money for shareholders. Rather, we’re a financial co-operative, one whose members have a voice on the issues that impact their financial lives, and the success of their community.

Customer care is an important aspect of credit union membership. Indeed, credit unions routinely outperform Canada’s big banks on customer satisfaction surveys. Thanks to the combination of smaller customer bases and a bigger local focus, credit unions are better equipped to form strong, meaningful bonds with their members, providing a more personalized level of service and support that’s tailored to individual needs and concerns.

This customer-first focus also makes credit unions an appealing and welcoming place to overcome professional financial hurdles or recover from personal economic distress. Whether it’s competitive fees (or no fees at all), higher interest rates on savings and lower rates for borrowing, easier access to credit, and flexible repayment plans, credit unions can typically do more than larger financial institutions to help solve problems for members.

Here’s a closer look at some of the different ways credit unions can help members recover from financial difficulties.

More friendly with fees

Compared to other financial institutions, a key credit union differentiator is the absence of fees for many services. Where fees do exist, they are typically far lower than those charged for the same services at big banks. The result: more money in your account at the end of each month, and regular savings that add up to meaningful sums over time.

Willing to work with you

Credit unions tend to be far more flexible than bigger banks when it comes to helping out customers who are experiencing hard times, whether it’s through a willingness to offer penalty-free skipped payment opportunities, or extensions to monthly payment dates. Instead of further penalizing members who miss payments or struggle to maintain a balance by charging additional fees, a credit union is likely to seek a solution that suits the individual in need.

Rates that save you more and make borrowing cheaper

If you’re saving or investing money, you can expect to earn higher rates of interest at a credit union, because the institution’s overall profits don’t go towards paying shareholders. Instead, members reap the dual rewards of better returns on their investments and annual dividends, helping their savings grow more quickly.

Likewise, members who borrow money are generally able to do so on terms more favourable than those available at many bigger financial institutions. Whether it’s a small loan, or a sizable mortgage, credit union members pay less to borrow money, making it easier to get out of debt sooner.

Easier access to credit, especially for small borrowers

Driven by their focus on putting people first, credit unions tend to take a broader, more generous view of loan applicants than most larger financial institutions. Credit unions are also often more willing to lend smaller sums that may be meaningful to the recipient, but not necessarily big enough for other banks to bother with.

By looking at a loan applicant’s individual situation, acknowledging the vulnerabilities but accepting the trustworthiness of each prospective client, credit unions can often provide a more welcoming environment for borrowers who may struggle to meet the impersonal, unforgiving standards of other lenders.

Finally, not all borrowers need huge loans to pay for massive projects. Some just need small sums to help them through tough times, tackle small-scale jobs, or achieve personal goals. Whatever the need, they’re likely to find a friendly and willing lender at their local credit union.

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