Choosing a bank to help you manage your finances is a personal choice. Some items on your want-to-have list are likely easy to find at a lot of places. These include things like an online banking portal, free transfers between accounts, and text notifications when spending reaches a certain amount in one purchase.
But how do you discern the best banking option for you? One top option is selecting not just a nearby branch but a truly local bank. Here are five reasons why you should choose a Willamette community credit union.
1. They Give Back to the Community
While this might not have entered your consideration, you should move it close to the top of the list. Consider this: banks primarily earn money on interest from loans. It’s no secret that they make a lot of money, especially the global contenders. But where does that money really end up? A lot of it sits in the pockets of CEOs living luxurious lifestyles in expensive cities.
But when you choose to place your money at a Willamette community credit union, the funds go to pay local workers—your neighbors—and are reinvested into your community. Central Willamette Credit Union, for example, participates in fundraising walks, your city chamber of commerce, and local chapters for organizations like the Boys & Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, Linn-Benton Community College, Greater Albany Public Schools, and more.
We’re proud to make a difference in our community and positively contribute to the well-being of both our members and others in the neighborhood where we live. And in addition to monetary contributions, our staff accumulated about 1,000 volunteer hours giving back in 2018.
When you choose a local bank, you really do choose your community.
2. They Participate in Relationship Banking
Walk into any big bank and the teller may be friendly, but if you decide to walk away from their services, they would barely even bat an eye because you’re just one small fish in their ocean of customers.
When you bank with a Willamette community bank, it’s all about relationships. Not only will you be treated like a neighbor—and you actually are—your financial values and concerns will be taken into consideration with the utmost respect.
Relationship banking also provides you with the opportunity to be assessed for loans from a more holistic approach. If, for example, you’re looking for a small business loan to open a shop a few blocks away, the banker you work with isn’t going to look at you like just another credit score but as someone who wants to do good in the community and who knows that where you want to place your storefront is the ideal location for such a business.
Not to say a credit score isn’t important when securing a loan, but you’re not just a number at Central Willamette Credit Union. You’re a unique individual seen as a valuable member of both the bank and the community.
3. You’ll Find Quick Decision-Making
At Willamette community banks, decisions about home loans, business loans, credit card limits, and more are made at your local branch with the bankers you see each time you decide to drop by. Since it’s most often an in-house process, this means you’ll have the pre-approval for your mortgage so you can go look at that dream home with confidence in no time.
At bigger banks, you may have to wait days for a machine or for bankers who are states away to assess your creditworthiness. At a community bank, you’ll receive an answer with haste.
And if it’s not the answer you were hoping for, you won’t just receive a no. You can sit down and receive a detailed explanation of why you were denied and walk away with actionable steps to achieve your goals in the future.
4. You’ll Receive Top Customer Service
When looking for a bank you probably want to interact with the employees and take time to stop at the bank as little as possible. We get it. You want to look at your balance, set up your automatic bill transfers, get going with automatic payment deposits, and even apply for loans without speaking to another soul. Times have changed, and you don’t need to rely on our team as much anymore.
But isn’t it nice to know that if you want financial guidance or need help filling out a loan application or have questions about securing an auto loan, you can do so with ease?
You may not want to interact with our team much, but we’re still here for you and a knowledgeable resource who’s glad to interact over the phone or in-person when the time arrives.
5. They Involve the Whole Family
When did you open your first bank account? Maybe at 16 years old? Or 18? 24? Do you wish you knew about saving and budgeting earlier than you finally learned? When you bank at a Willamette community bank like Central Willamette Credit Union, you’ll set your whole family up for financial success.
We also value teaching the youngest members in our community and want to help guide them, so we offer those 12 years and under a Kids Kash Savings Account, and they can get started with a mere $5 deposit. Then we help them transition to savings and checking for teens when they start their first part-time jobs and start looking to save or invest for trade school or college.
We’re not just committed to those working in our community now but to those who will lead our community in the future. We want to work with you to arm them with the skills they need, and we can meet you and your family wherever you’re at today.
Now, these are certainly top reasons to consider your local credit union!