Idaho is growing quickly, with many people immigrating here from other states. Whether it’s to enjoy our stunning outdoors, save with a lower cost of living, or just a general love of potatoes, people are coming here to stay!
Whatever brought you to Idaho, welcome! We are happy to have you and want to help you feel more comfortable. There’s a few things to know right off the bat. First, you pronounce Boise with a hard E, not a Z sound at the end (think Boi-See not Boi-Z). Second, we love potatoes here, so get on board with that. Finally, if you’re looking for a good place to keep your money, we suggest a credit union! Here’s why!
Credit Unions are the Gateway to Your Community
If you are looking for a great place to connect with your local community, you might feel a little lost on where to start. Every community is different, with their own traditions, practices, and general vibe. Joining a new community can feel awkward, not knowing people and what is ok to do.
A credit union can help ease the transition into your local community. Many credit unions interact with your community on a daily basis, and often know what is happening within it. Not only can they guide you to events in the community, but even help you connect with people in the community too.
This is true for more than just a geographical community too. If you’re part of a larger industry with credit unions, like police or teachers, a local credit union associated with that industry can help you make connections and friends.
Local, Friendly, and Not-for-Profit
Credit unions are a great financial alternative to big banks, and you should join one! Most credit unions have the same service and options large banks have, but with a local approach.
One major difference between credit unions and banks are that credit unions are not-for-profit. There are no investors looking to make ridiculous amounts of money from a credit union. Credit unions are owned by the members and are strictly not-for-profit organizations. They are designed to help their members and build up their communities.
This attitude of helping drips down to every part of the credit union, from the CEO to the teller you see regularly. It’s all about helping their members and communities thrive.
Give Back to Your Community
Credit unions are dialed in on your local community's needs. It’s common among credit unions to have some sort of plan or promotion designed to give back to other non-profits or community needs.
By being a part of a credit union, you can participate in giving back to your community. Depending on the credit union, they might regularly donate to specific causes, host a food drive, raise money for a school, or even help a specific family in need. Helping others is a key part of the credit union philosophy, and you can be a part of it.
Favorable Rates and Less Fees
Overall, credit unions are able to offer their members better rates and less fess on nearly everything. There are a few factors that affect this, including the not-for-profit status of credit unions to keep costs and fees lower than traditional banks.
If you are tired of fees from your bank, or just want a better loan rate for buying your new truck with snow tires, check out a credit union to see what kind of rate you can get. Pioneer offers auto loans with great rates to help you buy your new car to prepare for the Idaho snows.
Unique Products and Perks
Banks serve such a widespread population that their products are typically not specific to your lifestyle or even the lifestyle of your community. But a local credit union can design their products and services to cater specifically to their members. This could include running a special promotion for their area, adjust rates to match local needs, and have perks meant to help their community.
Pioneer has several products designed to assist members in their lives. Members with low credit? The Credit Builder loan can help raise it. Have a young adult looking to buy their first car? The First-Time Auto Buyer loan can get them started. Want an extra incentive to support your local community? The Pioneer Buy Local program gives extra Rewards! points when shopping at certain local businesses.
Being connected to the needs of the community allows credit unions to give you what you need to overcome your challenges. It’s not about making money, it’s about helping those around us thrive.
Promoting Financial Literacy
One major thing that sets credit unions apart is the focus on increasing financial literacy in their communities. Many credit unions provide resources to their local community to assist them in becoming better educated. Classes, books, webinars, one-on-one instruction, and financial consulting all happen at credit unions.
If you are looking for some help in understanding your current financial situation or how to improve it, a credit union is a great place to start. At Pioneer, we provide our members with free financial counseling through GreenPath Financial Wellness. You get paired up with a counselor with their service and they’ll help you identify what you need to do to improve your finances and create an action plan with you. That includes getting out of debt, building a budget, saving money, and growing your credit.
Check out GreenPath!