PERSONAL FINANCE MANAGEMENT

How to Find a Good Credit Union

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Building Teamwork. A target credit union is designed to foster teamwork among its members. By involving members in meaningful work projects, members learn more about themselves and are more likely to take ownership of their part in a project. Learn what you can do that will benefit your team.

Manage Debit and Credit Cards. One of the most difficult things about working at a credit union is managing your own spending. Debit cards are tempting, but should not be used unless they are absolutely necessary. Establishing good habits early is the key to fiscal responsibility. Your debit team member should receive instructions from you on how to use their card wisely, such as not charging to an account they don’t have, or only using the debit card when necessary.

Manage Time. Sometimes members find it difficult to commit to long-term service with a credit union. Team members should be given the opportunity to build long-term relationships by getting to know each other on a personal level and not just on service duties.

Support One Another. A target credit union needs its members to support one another. To be successful, the entire membership needs to participate in the decisions and policies of the credit union. If you have questions, concerns, or issues, make sure those among your team members who are knowledgeable in the area will be able to help.

Be Prepared to Increase Costs. Your contract can include some costs not necessarily related to services rendered. These may include membership dues to the credit union, which can increase over time, or operating expenses for the office space where the credit union conducts business. The costs and implications of these issues need to be clearly laid out before you enter into a membership with a certain credit union. Make sure you are okay with the increased costs.

Work Effectively with Others. A target credit union wants its members to work effectively. In order to achieve this, all members are encouraged to seek input from other people when they have questions or concerns. This does not mean you always have to ask others. It also does not mean that you have to agree with what others are saying. Simply providing an opinion and allowing everyone the chance to voice their opinion, is a way to build a strong relationship with your colleagues.

Look For Recommendations. Asking for recommendations from existing clients and other industry insiders will help you get the most out of working with a credit union. These experts know the ins and outs of these institutions and are likely to offer you insight into the strengths and weaknesses of each one. Look to them when looking for a credit union that is right for you.

Seek Out Knowledge. If you can, seek out a credit union that has already been in existence for a while. You’ll find it easier to network with people who have been members of the organization for a while. However, even if you cannot find a target credit union that is in operation for quite some time, consider looking for a credit union that offers new members a trial period. This gives you the chance to see how the organization works and what your chances are of becoming a member.

Ask Questions. Asking questions when you join a new credit union is a good way to learn more about the organization. Be wary of any credit union that does not allow its members the opportunity to question management. A target credit union should be willing to answer any questions you have. Additionally, be wary of any credit union that tries to rush you through the joining process.

Look for Freebies. While most companies that offer credit unions do offer products of some sort, there is usually no reason to join one if the target credit union does not have anything to offer you in the way of free or inexpensive products. Look for a credit union that offers special deals, low fees, or other promotions. These types of promotions can help you save money on purchases within the credit union and often, you will have the opportunity to use these products as well. While you may not get something free, you will likely find some type of deal that is favorable.

Research the Company. While the credit union is where you plan to make your purchases, it’s important to know that you are dealing with a company that you are not going to want to work with again. Do a thorough investigation into the company. If it turns out to be a shady company, move on to another one. Don’t let yourself fall victim to the many scams out there.

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