Credit unions are popular for several reasons. They have a personalized approach with a member-centric model. You are both the customer and owner here. This lets you enjoy lower charges as well as interest rates on loans. You can also enjoy several financial benefits, even with a low credit score. No wonder the US market size of credit unions, measured by revenue, stands at $81.6 billion in 2021. Studies have found that factors that influence this industry are household debt and the rising lifespans.
Credit unions are an excellent low-cost alternative to traditional banks. But you need to tick off a few basic features to get the most out of their potential. For instance, ensure that the institution has adopted innovative practices and the latest technologies. What else is crucial? Take a look.
1. World-Class Customer Service
The 2020 American Customer Service Satisfaction Index for credit unions, conducted by the University of Michigan, stood at 77 on a 100-point scale. Credit unions strive to serve the community for the greater good by rolling out technology solutions and mobile apps. This is why members insist “they’ll never leave their credit unions.” The customer experience benchmarks or key metrics are usually staff courtesy, variety of financial services and branch locations. So, make sure the organization you pick has a member-first approach for the best service and support experience.
2. Impact of Technology
Your credit union should offer electronic signature authentication, online share account application, remote deposit capture, electronic bill payments and electronic loan application. These are the main areas that appeal to potential members. A few 2021 credit union technology trends are cloud computing, machine learning and AI, digital ID solution, analytics and marketing automation. All these help improve operations and support members more accurately and efficiently.
3. Basic Membership Requirements
The credit union you pick should not restrict membership to limited people. It must allow the general public from all walks of life to enjoy the benefits offered. All you should need to do is open an account and start your membership. The customer support team of the top credit union of New Jersey will explain the basic and complex functions. This way all members can democratically operate the not-for-profit organization. You will remain a valued part of the team, rather than just another customer on their database.
4. Works with Less-Than-Impressive Credit Score
An ideal credit score is 750 and above. Banks are usually reluctant to offer loans if you do not have the minimum score. But credit unions wish to make the process easy for you rather than making it another burden. Even if you do not have a good credit score, you are eligible for a loan. So, if you wish to get an auto loan or personal loan with a poor credit score, your credit union should be able to help.
However, you can build a positive record by making regular bill payments, reducing the interest amount and taking small personal loans that you repay regularly. A good credit score can prove useful in other areas, such as renting a home, where landlords check your credit history to determine your ability to pay the rent on time.
An ideal credit union will be committed to human relationships. Make sure the system is user-friendly, cooperative and evolves with time for the best customer experience.