Credit Union or Bank: Does It Matter?

As a real estate practitioner, does it matter whether you put your money into a bank or a credit union or whether you take out a loan with one but not the other? In the third of our monthly video series called Your Money Matters, Victoria Gillespie of REALTORS® Federal Credit Union, a division of Northwest Federal Credit Union, says it does matter, because credit unions are cooperatives owned by their account-holders, so profits get channeled back to account holders in the form of better terms, higher yields, and lower fees. Gillespie is REALTORS® FCU’s director of Business Development.

To be sure, the only way to know what’s best for you is to shop around. You want to see what’s available in terms of yield on your savings or other accounts, the attractiveness of the loan terms, and so forth. Gillespie thinks credit unions in general and REALTORS® FCU in particular will compare favorably in any shopping test. She points to a savings account yield at her credit union that was five times higher than at national banks when she shopped rates and terms at the end of last year.

But REALTORS® FCU has a few other advantages, she thinks, and that includes easy accessibility of your funds. Through partnerships with other financial institutions, the company offers 33,000 fee-free ATMs and a shared-branch network with more than 5,000 offices. It also tries to be user-friendly by maintaining a 24-7 customer support line, something it makes a point to do because of the unpredictable hours real estate agents work.

Again, you can only know what’s best for you by shopping around. As a start, spend a few minutes with the third in our Your Money Matters financial planning series and hear what Gillespie has to say about REALTORS® FCU. Next month we’ll be looking ideas for approaching your 2014 financial planning.

Watch the third video now.

Go to the second video on reserve accounts.

Go to the first video on taxes.

Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is director of multimedia communications for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. He can be reached at

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  1. Nice article, I will be waiting for your next article which is looking ideas for approaching our 2014 financial planning. I hope will get more important stuff from this article.