Don’t Let Fees Take Their Toll

Consumers are willing to pay for convenient financial services, such as automated teller machine use. But how much is too much?

Some fees finance the research and development of future products and services. Still other fees are used to modify negative behaviors, such as routinely writing checks against nonexistent funds.

But when it comes to fees, you can trace the difference between how many and how much to one major philosophical difference in the way credit unions and banks operate.

Banks are for-profit institutions: The profit motive influences the number and size of their fees.

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives. Because there’s no pressure from profit-minded stockholders, Priority First charges fees to enable us to provide more convenient and useful services for our members.

That explains why credit unions usually charge fewer and lower fees than banks.

How much can members save just by using a credit union share draft or checking account?

Most credit unions offer free checking accounts, and penalties for overdrawing those accounts tend to be lower: a $25 fee is typical, compared with $30 for all banks and $35 for the largest banks.

Credit unions also make it easy–and cheap–to access your accounts. Nearly 80% of credit unions that offer access to ATMs participate in surcharge-free ATM networks, which means you won’t be charged for any transactions at those ATMS.

Stop by or call us to make sure you’re taking full advantage of the credit union difference–before unnecessary fees take a toll on your hard-earned dollars.