Credit Union Myths

Let’s get to the bottom of this!

Myth #1: I can’t join.

Fact: At DECU, anyone who lives or works in any of our 14 counties (you can find the full list here) can join. If this doesn’t apply to you, you can still join if a relative – by blood or marriage – is a member.

Myth #2: Credit unions are too small.

Fact: Credit unions do tend to be smaller than the well-known large banks. However, with comparable services and technology, isn’t smaller better? At DECU, you’re part of our family. We’ll take the time to ensure you’re getting the best service possible. Oftentimes, that means hearing what you’re looking for and suggesting products and services that will help, instead of simply signing you up for services, regardless of how useful they will be. As a smaller institution, we can take the time to get to know you. Plus, at DECU, your loans will be approved and housed locally!

Myth #3: It will be difficult to access my money.

Fact: Between our 5 branches, online banking, contact center, and our 30+ no-surcharge ATM locations, accessing your money is a breeze. Even if you can’t make it to a branch, you can do almost anything online or over the phone. Transferring money? Online banking. Applying for a loan? Do it over the phone! Plus, with our cards accepted at almost every ATM, you can always access your money quickly.

Myth #4: Credit unions are for low-income members of the community.

Fact: While credit unions began, and still operate as, a way to help those in need of a better financial situation, that’s not all they do. DECU looks out for our members and we want to see them do well. We tend to offer lower rates and fewer fees to make that happen. It’s also common for credit unions to offer higher interest rates on savings accounts, so your money works harder for you.

Myth #5: Credit unions aren’t tech-savvy.

Fact: At DECU we pride ourselves in being up on the latest trends. From online banking to phone banking to, coming soon, video banking, we stay pretty up to date.

If there’s a service you can find at a bank, you can most likely find it here, too. In fact, in a study done by a CFI group, bank customers rated their satisfaction at 86 out of 100 in online and mobile banking versus 90 out of 100 among credit union members.

Myth #6: I have to pay to join.

Fact: Yes, there is a $5 deposit needed to join DECU. However, that $5 is still completely yours. When you leave the credit union, you take that $5 with you. We have a $5 deposit because when you become a member with us, you become a co-owner of the credit union.

Myth #7: Credit unions don’t pay taxes.

Fact: Credit unions do pay taxes. They pay local, property, and employer taxes. As not-for-profit businesses, credit unions are exempt from paying federal taxes. The money that would be used for federal taxes is instead passed on to our members in the form of free and low-cost services.

Myth #8: Credit unions aren’t regulated or insured.

Fact: Credit unions are held to the same laws and regulations as banks. In some instances, credit unions face even more restrictions. And while they aren’t insured by the FDIC like banks are, they are insured in other ways. Every credit union, DECU included, is part of the National Credit Union Association (NCUA). Like the FDIC for banks, the NCUA provides coverage and insurance for money deposited at credit unions.

Myth #9: Banks offer more services than credit unions.

Fact: Most credit unions offer the same services banks offer. At DECU, we not only offer savings and checking, but we also have loans, mortgages, IRAs, investment and retirement services, credit cards, online banking, and so much more.

Myth #10: Credit unions are the same as banks.

Fact: Credit unions offer many of the same services you can find at a bank, but they are two very different business models. As a for-profit business, banks focus on making money. As a not-for-profit business, credit unions focus on member success. At DECU, we put people first. You’re a name, not a number. Our goal is to make sure your banking needs are met in a way that leaves you satisfied. We’ll spend the extra time to make sure you get that.