credit union

Do You Know What a Credit Union is? New Survey Says No

What is a credit union? For some of you, this might be a no-brainer. But it could pose a challenge if you were born after 1975.

That’s according to EFG Companies 2019 survey, which asked more than 500 millennials between 18 and 44 a series of questions about credit unions. The results show most don’t know what they are or how they’re different from commercial banks. 

Let’s take a look at the results to see how millennials think about credit unions.

A Breakdown of the Credit Union Survey Results

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out this deep-dive into the survey results below.

  • Thirteen percent of respondents think you have to pay to be a member
  • Nearly 25 percent have no idea how to describe a credit union
  • Roughly 27 percent think it’s akin to a club with members
  • Almost 31 percent compared it to a small bank with limited options
  • A little over 45 percent believe it offers a more human, less digital experience

What Do These Results Mean?

The survey suggests credit unions don’t have a strong standing in the millennial psyche. Not only does it show they have a lack of knowledge, but it also shows millennials have some misconceptions about the average credit union.

Let’s try to address them:

Do customers have to pay?

If you become a credit union customer, you also become a shareholder or part-owner. In many cases, the cost of becoming a member is low. Rather than a monthly fee like those charged by a commercial bank, a share may have a one-time fee as low as $1.

One of the perks of becoming a member means customers have access to no-fee chequing accounts, affordable rates on local loans, and high interest on deposits. Sometimes, a credit union will even share dividends.

How limited are their options?

A common misconception about credit unions is they can’t offer the same daily banking services as commercial banks. In reality, plenty of credit unions go head-to-head with the biggest banks, offering a wide variety of services and products.

Most credit unions provide a full suite of financial services, including financial planning for growing families and banking options for business owners.

What is the credit union experience?

Millennials have it half-right when they said it offers a more human way to bank. Since credit unions are a cooperative approach to banking, they rarely see their members as numbers — they see them as neighbours and collaborators.

However, the idea credit unions can’t keep pace with mobile banking services is problematic. Although it depends on the credit union, many of them develop convenient online options in order to keep up with today’s digital demands.

What You Don’t Know May Hurt You

It’s easy to stick with the world’s biggest banks when you think it’s the only affordable way to bank. But you could end up paying more for simple banking services without much pay-off.

By researching all the options, including credit unions and other non-bank alternatives, you can determine for yourself if a bank is truly what you need.