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Do you care about your financial future? Then it’s time to ditch your bank and join a credit union.

That’s the central message of the Open Your Eyes To a Credit Union® campaign, which was launched by our friends at the Credit Union National Association. Many of you may already know that credit unions are member-owned and offer better rates and services than giant financial organizations. But if you, like the majority of Americans, are brand new to the credit union movement, then this is the perfect opportunity to address some common misconceptions about who we are and what we do.

Think you have to join a secret organization to be a member of a credit union? Or that you can only access your money at a local branch? Think again. It’s time to bust some credit union myths.

Myth 1: “I Can’t Join a Credit Union.”

Membership requirements are the credit union’s way of ensuring that everyone with a financial stake in the organization also shares a stake in the future of the community it serves. We break down some of the many ways people are eligible to be credit union members. You can become a member of St. Mary’s & Affiliates Credit Union (SMACU) if you are a resident or employed in Adams, Dane, Iowa, Juneau, Rock, or Sauk Counties, or if you are an immediate family member of a current member. Become a member online now!

Myth 2: “It’s Hard To Access My Money.”

Modern institutions like SMACU offer their members a variety of online and offline services, allowing people to choose the banking experience that fits their needs. We share some of the ways SMACU and other credit unions offer modern money management services to their members. Here is how you can access your money anytime and anywhere.

  • Mobile App
  • Online Banking
  • Online Bill Pay
  • Mobile Deposit
  • Shared Branching

SMACU has invested a ton of resources into expanding our digital banking tools, allowing members to access their funds anytime and anywhere. Whether it’s setting up a direct deposit on desktops, transferring funds through the SMACU app, our members are never made to feel like they’re sacrificing an ounce of convenience by choosing to be part of a credit union.

But that’s not all. By participating in the CO-OP Shared Branch service, credit unions across the country can offer members the same in-branch services they would find at their home location. With more than 5,600 CO-OP Shared Branch locations in the United States, credit unions rival even the biggest financial institutions in terms of in-branch opportunities. So whether you’re making a deposit in Anchorage, Alaska, or making a withdrawal in Orlando, Florida, your funds will be ready and waiting for you. Become a member online now!

*APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Subject to credit approval. Rate and term available for 2019 and newer vehicles only. APY = Annual Percentage Yield. Membership eligibility is required. Federally insured by the NCUA. St. Mary’s & Affiliates Credit Union is an Equal Housing Opportunity Lender. St. Mary’s & Affiliates Credit Union is a full-service financial institution serving Adams, Dane, Iowa, Juneau, Rock, and Sauk Counties.