As of yearend 2013, there were 1,059,684 New Jersey credit unions members. What's a member you ask? A credit union member is anyone who has an account at a credit union. But more than that, each individual member, regardless of how much money they have on deposit with the credit union, gets one vote in how the credit union is operated. Unlike traditional banks which are run by shareholders, credit unions are run by unpaid, volunteer board of directors elected by the credit union's members and made of that credit union's membership. When you use a credit union, you're not just a number, but a member-owner.
The American Consumer Satisfaction Index for credit unions is 85, this compares to 73 for banks. Since 1994 when The American Consumer Satisfaction Index was created, banks have never outperformed credit unions in satisfaction index. In fact, credit unions were tied with "Televisions and Video Players" for the best Customer Satisfaction Benchmark among all 43 industries reviewed.
Credit unions largely outperform banks in this index because of fewer fees and more personalized service. Credit union membership has grown in recent years, hitting record highs in 2011, breaking that record in 2012, and on target for another record in 2013. Almost three-quarters of ALL credit unions offer free checking compared to about one-third of banks and credit unions typically offer lower interest rates on loans and revolving credit.
Oh, and by the way, credit unions were tops when the ACSI began its Website Satisfaction Index recently, receiving the top score of 86. The index measured consumer satisfaction with company Web sites across 33 different industries.
Want to know why it's important? Credit unions generally provide financial benefits to members through lower loan rates, high saving rates, and fewer fees than for profit banking institutions. $47,598,899* is the amount of direct financial benefits New Jersey's credit union members received in the last year.
If you are wondering about your cut, join a credit union and see the savings for yourself. Use the credit union search tool on the right.
*Estimated total benefits of credit union membership are calculated by accounting for differences in credit union and bank pricing. Specifically, average credit union savings account yields, loan interest rates and fees compared to average bank savings account yields, loan interest rates and fees. The interest rate differences are applied to respective average credit union loan and savings balances. Fee differences are weighted and applied to credit union non-interest income to obtain the total estimated benefits arising from fees.