Although the history of credit unions in the United States dates back more than 100 years to 1909, there is still a lot of confusion as to what exactly a credit union is, who is eligible to join, and how it differs from a bank. There are many myths floating around related to credit unions that just add to the confusion. We’re here to bust some common credit union myths and help you better understand what makes a credit union special.
Myth 1 – I can’t join my local credit union
This is one of the biggest misperceptions about many credit unions, that you can’t join. While some credit unions may still be limited to a select group of people from a particular employer group or organization, many are open to the entire community. The fact is that many credit unions are community chartered, which allows them to open the benefits of credit union membership to people who live, work, worship, or attend school in a particular geographic region. For example, Benchmark Federal Credit Union is a community chartered credit union. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Tap to learn more about eligibility. Once you’re a member, you’re always a member. So, whether you change jobs or relocate, rest assured, your membership at Benchmark lasts a lifetime.
Myth 2 – Switching from a bank to a credit union is too hard
Actually, switching to a credit union can be quite easy. Most credit unions enable you to join quickly right online. For instance, depositing and maintaining a $5 balance in an Ultimate Saver, or Basic Savings Account makes you a Benchmark FCU member. Once you’re a member and open the other accounts you need, switching is over direct deposit and setting up online and mobile banking and other services is a breeze. It’s worth it!
Myth 3 – Credit Unions don’t offer the same level of technology as banks
False! Credit unions offer 24/7 access to your finances through online and mobile banking, just like banks. Access your accounts anytime, anywhere you can get online. Pay bills, deposit checks, transfer funds, and much more. Also important to note, credit unions are as safe and secure as banks.
Myth 4 – Another of these credit union myths includes the belief that money in a credit union is not federally insured
Your deposits in a credit union are federally insured. They are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) for up to $250,000 per individual depositor. The NCUSIF is backed by the U.S. Treasury.
Myth 5 – Credit Unions don’t offer as many ATM locations
Actually, many credit unions belong to a surcharge-free nationwide ATM network. You can get details from your local credit union. As a member of Benchmark FCU, you can easily find an ATM virtually anywhere in the U.S. In fact, you can make surcharge-free withdrawals at a network of over 30,000 ATM locations.
Myth 6 – Because banks are larger they offer better rates and lower fees than credit unions
Not true! Because credit unions are member-owned not for profits, they can offer better rates and lower fees than many banks that are looking to make a profit for investors.
Myth 7 – Credit Unions can’t provide as many services as a bank
This is also not true. A local credit union, such as Benchmark FCU provides all of the products and services provided by a big bank. This includes mortgages and other loans to meet your needs, IRAs and other investment accounts, savings, checking, credit cards, and all of the latest online and mobile banking technology. In addition, many credit unions also offer financial education programs to help members better manage their finances.
Take advantage of the Ultimate Member $300 Cash Bonus* at Benchmark FCU link
We hope busting these credit union myths will help open your eyes to the many benefits of credit union membership. Take advantage of a limited-time exclusive Ultimate Member Cash Bonus at Benchmark when you join and set up select accounts. Tap to learn how to earn a $300 cash bonus*. Not a credit union member? Join now at or stop by Benchmark Federal Credit Union.
*Ultimate Checking $300 Cash Bonus Promotion is subject to be withdrawn at Credit Union’s discretion & without prior written notice. Only allowed one Ultimate Checking per member SSN. $200 monthly recurring Direct Deposit must post to account within 60 days from opening the Ultimate Checking Account & $300 cash bonus will be deposited to account within 30 days from 1st recurring Direct Deposit posting to account. Bonus may be reported on a 1099-INT. $300 Ultimate Checking Promotion valid for qualified new Checking members only. Member must not have closed a Benchmark Checking Account within the last 12 months.