Even though there are over 5,000 credit unions in the United States, many misconceptions about their structure and their services still exist. One popular-but-false assumption is that the term “credit union member” is interchangeable with the term “credit union customer.” It might seem like a harmless mistake, but the concept of membership is what sets credit unions apart from other financial institutions. A “member” isn’t an empty marketing term—it reflects your credit union’s commitment to co-operative values and shapes your entire banking experience. As a member, you’re a part owner, you have a say in how your credit union is run and you get to share in its success in tangible ways.
What was the very first financial choice you ever made?
A credit score is a number that potential lenders will use to determine whether they should lend you money, how much, and at what interest rate.
If you’re considering financing your college education with the help of a student loan, the smartest thing you can do for yourself is to only borrow what you truly need. (This advice applies to pretty much all loan products, by the way.) Pursuing post-secondary education should be an exciting time in your life. You’re making decisions and opening up possibilities that will shape your future—a future that is adventurous and fulfilling and that decidedly does not include years and years of crippling debt.
You rely on your financial professional to provide experience and expertise to help develop a practical financial plan for you, manage debt and establish an emergency fund, weather market volatility, create a budget, grow your assets, save for the life you want, and invest and plan for retirement — and more.
Financial professionals go by many names: personal financial advisor, investment consultant, financial planner, financial coach…you can probably come up with at least a few more. Their varying backgrounds and credentials come with different designations and titles. And there are at least as many reasons to work with a financial professional as there are ways to call them.