How Credit Unions Serve Their Communities
These days, many of us are conscientious about where we spend our money. After all, we want to know that the businesses we support are responsible and have a positive impact in the community.
This is especially important when it comes to the financial institution where we bank, borrow, and invest.
If you’re looking for a financial partner that’s great for you and your community, local credit unions are the best option. Credit unions are different from the big national banks and online banks. Credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives that directly contribute to your hometown.
Credit Unions Support Local Jobs & Businesses
A strong community requires a healthy economy. For local credit unions like American Heritage, hiring employees locally is just one of the ways we support local economies.
Another way we help our communities is by supporting local businesses. Small businesses, the biggest job creators in the country, often turn to credit unions for loans credit unions, as they typically process loans locally. This helps streamline applications and gives credit unions the ability to better understand a borrower’s unique situation before making a loan decision.
And, as local lenders, credit unions reinvest their deposit dollars right back into the community. When you open an account with a credit union, you’re helping support businesses and families right near you.
Credit Unions Give Back
Credit unions exist to serve their members. One of the ways in which they do that is by supporting important charitable organizations.
While lots of financial institutions give to charity, credit unions are somewhat unique in that they primarily focus on causes and organizations that make an impact locally. They choose causes that are important to the members, industries, and communities they serve.
American Heritage has earned national recognition as a leader in charitable involvement. With the support of our members and staff, our Books for Kids program has raised money and donated tens of thousands of books to support literacy in our community. We were the first credit union in the country to start our own nonprofit, the Kids-N-Hope Foundation, which has raised millions to help area hospitals that serve children.
Credit Unions Educate
People aren’t born knowing how to manage money – they have to learn. Credit unions exist to support members’ financial well-being, so showing them how to save and manage their money wisely is a big part of what we do.
Many credit unions offer money management seminars and other financial literacy events on a wide variety of topics at their branches, workplaces, or other community spaces.
At American Heritage, we support financial wellness programs for kids and teens year-round. We also offer members a wide range of free financial seminars and partner with employers to benefit their employees.
Credit Unions Work for Their Members
There are several differences when comparing credit unions vs. banks.
It’s important to know that banks are for-profit companies that want to maximize earnings for their investors, who usually live outside the local community. On the other hand, credit unions are not-for-profit organizations owned by local members who share in the success.
Credit unions don’t have to worry about investors and a stock price. They can pass along much of their earnings to members in the form of lower and fewer fees, higher dividends on deposits, and lower rates on loans and credit cards. In fact, federal credit unions aren’t allowed to charge a rate higher than 18% on most loans and credit cards. Other lenders can charge more and do.
In these ways, credit unions help members keep more of their money and earn more with their savings. We help members have better access to important opportunities like owning a home, building a business, and saving for retirement.
Along with dividends and borrowing rates that banks can rarely match, American Heritage is always working to bring our community together. We hold fun-filled community events throughout the year and offer exclusive discounts on local attractions and tickets to Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers games.
Proudly Local, Just Like You
Truly local financial institutions are few and far between, and many local banks are eventually bought out by a larger competitor. At American Heritage, we’re still based right here in Philadelphia. After more than 70 years, we’re as committed as ever to our communities. Learn more and become a member today.