by Meredith Simonds
In the wake of big bank backlash, credit unions have been getting a lot of attention in recent weeks and months. But aside from the obvious reason of saving on banking services – typically lower than what big banks charge – credit unions are also a great place to start rebuilding bad credit .
Unlike banks, credit unions are non-profit organizations owned and operated by their members who democratically elect a Board of Directors. For this reason, the decisions made regarding the credit union take into consideration your best interest, unlike banks that are always looking out for their own best interest (i.e. the bottom line). For this reason, credit unions are more forgiving of bad debt – including bankruptcy – making it easier for you to get a credit card or auto loan than it
would be through a traditional bank.
Beyond giving you an opportunity to rebuild your credit, credit unions will also save you money on bank services, while also offering higher interest rates on your savings.
If you think you do not qualify for a credit union, think again. Yes, the qualifications for membership are limited, but there are so many credit unions to choose from that you are bound to find one for which you qualify based on your:
- Geographic region
- Professional affiliation
- Civic/social groups
To find a credit union, ask friends, family, neighbors and colleagues for their recommendations. You should also check with the Credit Union National Association at 800-358-5710. And if all else fails, you can always turn to the tried-and-true Google search.