When you are looking for an institution to handle your money for you, you have two major options: banks and credit unions. Both are very good solutions to solve your problem. However, each has unique advantages. Here are 5 reasons why you should use a credit union over a bank.

1. Improved Customer Service

Credit unions treat you like a member of an exclusive club. This means they treat you like part of the family. Tellers tend to be kinder, and they also tend to be more understanding. You walk in and get greeted with a smile. Many of the tellers will even ask you about your kids or your dog. It gives the customer service experience a small town or family vibe. It’s a very comfortable feeling, and it’s not as cold as most banks.

2. There are Perks

Being part of a credit union is like being part of an exclusive club. As a member of the club, there are certain advantages. Your credit union may offer special perks for being a member. Some of the common perks include things like member-only events, treats, and special deals on services. These are things that you would not get if you were a bank customer.

3. Keep Your Money Local

Most credit unions are local. The credit union services your area exclusively. This helps keep your money close to home. It also helps because people who work at the credit union are locals who understand the people in the area. This is preferred over calling a large bank with headquarters in another location. For example, a Chula Vista credit union will be more directly connected to the Southern California economy than a bank branch with headquarters in Boston or New York. The service will feel more personalized. You may even know your teller from the local bar or bowling alley.

4. Get Better Rates on Loans

It’s important to have a good rate when you take out a loan. This is especially true when it comes to large loans for a house or a car. Credit unions provide much better rates on loans when you need one. You should still shop around, but it’s more than likely that your credit union will be able to offer you the best rate. This could result in some serious savings when it comes to a 4-year car payment or 30-year mortgage.

5. Emphasis on Community

Credit unions are involved in the community. You can trust them more since they emphasize helping locals and being involved. They are not a large, heartless corporate bank. They actually care about the people they serve. You can even get involved, too. Look for flyers in the lobby of your local credit union to learn what events are coming up.

You may not have as many locations to choose from when you pick a credit union, and you may have to pay a membership fee, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Many people think they only have one option when it comes to financial institutions: the bank. Consider your local credit union to see exactly how it could benefit you.