The Credit Union Difference in Good and Challenging Times

Does your bank share its profits with you or its shareholders? Has your bank ever helped you improve your credit score, build wealth or reach milestone financial goals like purchasing a car, a home, or saving for retirement?

When it comes to banking, you have options. If you’ve been exploring ways to pay fewer fees and get more out of your banking, it might be time to consider a credit union. But what’s the difference?

While both credit unions and banks offer similar products and services like checking and savings accounts, loans, and credit cards, there are fundamental distinctions between the two.

Credit unions share profits and put people first.

Credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit cooperatives that work to put people ahead of profits.

Credit unions offer better rates on loans and deposits.

Because banks are beholden to shareholders, the need to make a profit will often fall on their customers, meaning more fees and less competitive rates.

The not-for-profit status of a credit union means that any profit that is made by the credit union is returned to its members in the form of lower rates on loans, higher dividend rates on savings, and reduced fees.

Lending decisions are based on human factors.

Credit unions also offer a more personal approach when it comes to service. While big banks rely heavily on computer algorithms to assess the approval of loans, credit unions can take into consideration other factors in an individual’s life to help make a positive difference.

Credit unions shine in good and challenging economic times.

Because credit unions are locally owned, they often have a better understanding of the needs of the people in their community, especially during difficult times like the pandemic.

While 2020 brought on devastating adversity and unprecedented disruptions, Hughes Federal Credit Union experienced another year of strong growth by demonstrating its dedication to members when needed the most, like:

Launching a new mobile and online banking platform with budgeting tools.

Increasing staffing in the Contact Center and creating a new specialized Lending Call Center.

• Providing financial counseling to members, including help with loan modifications.

• Placing a moratorium on repossessions and foreclosures.

• Continuing to support the local community with donations and sponsorships.

Credit unions offer the same access to your money as banks.

While banks like to emphasize more locations, some credit unions like Hughes Federal Credit Union actually offer more branches for you to access your funds. Thanks to the CO-OP Shared Branch and ATM Network, Hughes members have access to over 5,000 branches from coast to coast, plus online and mobile banking.

Can you join a credit union?

Membership at Hughes is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Tucson, or through other affiliations. Even if you don’t meet these requirements, there are still other ways to become a member. For instance, Hughes allows you to become a member by making a small donation to one of the Friends of the Library groups throughout Tucson.

Becoming a member of a credit union usually entails a deposit into a Main Share Account. This savings account establishes your membership and represents your share of the credit union.

Ready to make the switch?

Credit unions began with the purpose of serving the underserved and working within the community to pool resources to help one another. This purpose especially holds true today.

If you’re looking to bank at a financial institution where you can get the most out of your money and where your interests come first,stop by one of Hughes’ seven convenient locations or apply online today.