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College students drawn to the benefits of credit unions

College students are often inexperienced at saving, managing expenses and accessing credit and loans. While they may initially be drawn to big banks when trying to determine what financial institution to partner with, they may actually find credit unions offer them more unique advantages.

Better access to credit and loans
Young people know college is expensive, and many students wonder how they'll ever afford tuition, housing expenses and books. While federal loans are one choice for these struggling individuals, loans from credit unions are an increasingly popular option. The number of credit unions that offer these loans is on the rise, and some students may find the interest rates are more affordable than other loan options. This can make them easier to pay back in the long run, a benefit for students anticipating to graduate with a significant amount of college debt.

College students trying to get their first credit cards may also find it easier to choose a credit union. With a limited credit history, young people may have difficulty obtaining an account with a large provider, making a credit union a smart solution for those in need of low-interest cards.

Lower account maintenance costs
Budget-conscious students try to save every penny and can't afford to pay the fees many financial institutions charge for checking accounts, ATM withdrawals and overdrafts. Credit unions usually charge lower fees or eliminate them altogether, according to Business Insider. This makes them a top contender for college students looking for low-cost banking.

Strong customer service options
Credit unions are known for their personalized service, which could be just what a college student learning more about money management needs. Employees can help young individuals determine what types of accounts and services are right for their needs and ensure they understand everything they should be getting out of their credit union.

However, these financial institutions don't merely assist consumers by helping them set up accounts and answering questions - they can also assist younger savers by offering them access to a self-service coin counting machine. College students stashing away spare change to pay for tuition or put in their savings accounts can have it counted at a coin counter kiosk without waiting in line with a heavy jar of change - a significant benefit for a busy young person.

May 28, 2013