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Today’s credit union: debunking the myths, discovering the difference 

For many people, the concept of a credit union may carry a bit of mystique. While there’s a general sense of evolution—an awareness that these institutions aren’t just for employees of certain industries anymore—some may wonder just who today’s credit unions are for.  

Short answer: Everyone. Shorter answer: You!

According to recent research by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), common misconceptions around credit unions may hinder some from seeking membership—and discovering the credit union difference. Here, Freedom shares four primary myths, along with the truths that disprove them. 

MYTH: I can’t join.

Fact: You sure can! Many Americans believe they are ineligible to join a credit union, a belief that is universally (and fortunately!) untrue. Today, credit union membership eligibility is typically based on geography. Membership at Freedom Credit Union, for example, is available to anyone who lives, works or attends college in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin or Berkshire Counties.  

MYTH: Accessing my money may be hard. 

Fact: You can access your money virtually anytime, anywhere. Gone are the days when credit union membership meant service limitations. Along with having a user-friendly mobile application for easy online banking, many credit unions, including Freedom, have joined the Allpoint Network, allowing members surcharge-free ATM access at more than 55,000 retail locations worldwide. This benefit, as well as Freedom’s mobile banking app and 10 conveniently located branches, have made account accessibility easier than ever.        

MYTH: They’re too small for comfort.

Fact: Credit unions provide all the security and protection of a larger financial institution. 

The only difference is a positive one: With a credit union, you’re in control. Accountable to members, not shareholders, credit unions treat every customer as an individual. We proudly embrace a cooperative spirit, rather than a corporate one. 

MYTH: They’re primarily for those in need.

Fact: Based on generational notions, some may believe credit unions serve mainly low-income consumers. In truth, credit unions serve every population, as well as every size and type of business. In skyrocketing numbers, Americans looking to master their money and reach their aspirations are choosing the member-driven products, rates, and services a credit union offers.  

Today, more than ever, membership is the choice of those in the know. If you’re among them, spread the word—and help others to make freedom theirs.