Not everybody knows exactly what makes a credit union unique or why credit unions are such a great choice for consumers. Even with 2.1 million memberships in Georgia, credit unions are still often lumped in with banks in the public consciousness. This is understandable, since credit unions offer services like personal and business accounts, credit cards and loans.
But make no mistake. There are significant differences.
Most of these differences revolve around their structure and purpose. Banks are corporate entities that exist to deliver profits to their shareholders. Credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit cooperatives. They exist solely to help people afford life.
Once one fully understands the business model of a credit union, and how that model differs from other players in the financial services marketplace, other things start to come into sharper focus.
It becomes clear why the credit union industry not only leads all customer service surveys among financial service providers, but is in the top 25 in customer service across ALL industries. It makes sense that credit unions were not among the bad actors in the recession that gripped the country in 2008 and 2009. So it should be no surprise that while so many banks were failing from the fallout, credit unions were continuing to serve members while enjoying steady increases in membership.
Because, as already noted, credit unions help people afford life.
Of course, that means different things to different people.
To a member of MidSouth Community Federal Credit Union, it meant reliable transportation. But not the kind that usually comes to mind.