//Credit Unions: The safe and affordable way to handle your money

Without an account with a local credit union or bank, many people routinely pay anywhere from three to eight percent of their weekly income just to cash their payroll checks. That cost can be much higher if a payday loan is used to receive a cash advance.

There are many reasons why you should open an account at a credit union. With a credit union checking or savings account, it’s much easier and affordable to do simple things like save money, pay bills, send cash to relatives, and borrow money.

And, a credit union does not charge a fee for cashing a check. As a matter of fact, a credit union will PAY YOU to keep money in a savings account. This is called a “dividend” and it means your money is making money while it is in the account.

Here are some other ways a credit union can help you:

Protect you and your money with a savings account. It is not safe to leave large amounts of money in your house. It is also not safe to carry around large amounts of cash. It could be stolen or lost. A savings account is a safe place to keep your money. Your money is protected if you put it in a credit union that is insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). The NCUA provides credit unions with insurance to protect your money.

Help you pay bills conveniently with a checking account. A checking account lets you write checks or use debit or ATM cards instead of paying with cash. Whether you write a check at the grocery store, or use an ATM card at the gas station, it’s an easy and convenient way to get around today’s increasingly “cashless” society. Paying with a card or check is safer than carrying cash. You can even use a checking account to wire money to relatives back home.

Provide affordable loans. Credit unions traditionally offer low rate loans and make a great alternative to using a payday lender. The biggest disadvantage of a payday loan is the high cost.