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MythBusters Take on Credit Unions

Credit Union Myths Busted
Busting the 10 most common myths about credit unions.

facts versus myths

Myth #1: You must meet strict eligibility requirements.

Fact: While credit unions do require members meet certain requirements, most of these are pretty broad, and few truly limit membership.

You are eligible to join Madison Credit Union if you live or work in one of the following counties in Wisconsin:

  • Dane
  • Green
  • Dodge
  • Columbia
  • Iowa
  • Jefferson
  • Rock
  • Sauk
  • Walworth
  • Or if you are an employee or elected official of the City of Madison, Madison Metropolitan School District, or the County of Dane
  • Or if you are immediate family (parent, spouse, or child) of a MCU member, or you are a relative living in the same household as a member.

Do you qualify for membership? Sign up today!

Myth #2: Getting to the ATM is difficult because my branch isn’t nearby.

Fact: While there is only one Madison Credit Union, we are part of the Shared Branch Network with over 30,000 free ATMs available. So, availability really isn’t an issue.  In fact, credit unions offer more ATM access than most of the biggest national banks.

Myth #3: Changing my banking from a traditional bank to a credit union will be a hassle.

Fact: We offer an easy switch kit and all the same services as banks, including automatic bill payments and direct deposit. Most services will transition easily and go uninterrupted.

Myth #4: With all the fancy advertising, banks must have more money than credit unions.

Fact: While this may be true, it’s because credit unions are not-for-profit organizations. Rather than spend money on advertising and marketing, credit unions rely on the community for marketing. The money saved is rolled back into services for members or distributed back to members as dividends.

Myth #5: Credit unions don’t offer reward programs.

Fact: Many credit unions do offer reward programs on credit and debit cards. We partner with Elan and offer numerous Visa reward credit cards to choose from.

Plus, we don’t charge fees for everything like some banks do. Do the research on the fees are associated with the various accounts, even those offering rewards. At a credit union, you’ll save on fees. Do your bank rewards outweigh the fees you’re paying on each account?

Myth #6: Credit unions aren’t very tech-savvy.

Fact: Credit unions don’t promote mobile options as aggressively as banks, but that doesn’t mean they don’t offer them. According to a study by CFI Group, bank customers rated their satisfaction at 86 out of 100 in online and mobile banking versus 90 out of 100 among credit union members.

Myth #7: Credit unions are just like banks.

Fact: Saying credit unions are just like banks is saying democracy is that same as a dictatorship. Do you get a vote on how your bank is run? At credit unions, members own a piece of the organization and own a vote in determining how the credit union is managed. Credit unions also return all earnings back to members with their low fees and great dividend rates.

Myth #8: Credit unions have an unfair advantage over banks because they don’t pay taxes.

Fact: Credit unions are not non-profits, they are just not out for profits. Credit unions do pay taxes. As a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative, there are some taxes that credit unions don’t pay. Those “unfair advantages,” of course, are passed on to members.

Myth #9: Credit unions are not regulated.

Fact: Credit unions are not only held to the same standards as banks, but they face even more restrictions on the investments and loans they make.

Myth #10: Credit unions are good places to save money, but that’s about it.

Fact: Credit union are not only GREAT places to save money but they also offer low rate loans, debit and credit card services, online banking and bill pay, checking accounts, retirement investments, mortgages, car loans and more. They are a great place to take care of all your banking needs.