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Credit Unions Vs. Banks: Which Is Better?



When you’re trusting a financial institution with your money, it’s ok to be a little picky. Everyone’s anxious to tell you what you should want, but you need to be certain that the place—and people—that you choose will actually serve your needs. 

You may also think that a bank is your only option. After all, they market and promote their traditional format as if it is. But that’s not the case at all. Open enrollment and family-based options make joining a credit union easier than ever. For many people, the right credit union can offer all the banking services that they’ve been searching for but at a greater advantage for their members — people just like you. 

Benefits of a Credit Union

What credit unions lack in size and geographic reach, they gain in financial benefits and security. This gives you, the customer, perks like earning higher dividends on money you’ve saved, enjoying lower interest rates on money you need to borrow and combining the two to make your long-range goals a reality. 

Most credit unions also participate in the Shared Branching Network, which allows access to more than 5,500 locations nationwide where members can conduct their business. This network puts credit unions on equal footing with some of the largest banks in the country.

Plus, with smaller, close-knit customer groups, you get access to real professionals—actual people—with the time and expertise to provide a full range of customer services. These are things credit unions can do because they’re nonprofit institutions focused on serving their members — not pushing fees to boost their bottom line. At a credit union, members—not stockholders—reap the dividends. 

Most credit unions do have requirements for joining, but traditional membership is not as exclusive as you may think. Plus, this often allows credit union customer pools to be smaller, giving each member access to more personalized attention and financial benefits.

The Bottomline Perks:

  • Better rates and financial benefits
  • More focused, personal customer service experiences
  • Fewer to no fees due to a nonprofit structure


Benefits of a Bank

Banks remind you of their benefits all the time. They have to, because it’s how they make their money — by convincing you that they’re worth all those fees. As for-profit institutions, they rely on the strategy of maximizing their customer pool to increase revenue. With this game plan, anyone with the minimum required deposit can open an account at any time. 

Banks also usually have more location options than the standard credit union. This includes ATMs. As part of their marketing strategy, banks are often quicker to roll out and rely on new technology or mobile apps to enable virtual banking. This is essential to help service their inflated numbers of customers and ensure everyone can get what they need and when they need it—regardless of whether an actual person is available to help. 

The Bottom Line Perks:

  • Fewer to no requirements to join
  • Location options
  • Variety of virtual banking apps and technology


Where Does La Capitol Fit In?

La Capitol is the happy medium between the freedom of a traditional bank and the financial benefits of a credit union. We’re like a bank, but so much better. Here, you can find great rates on loans, rewarding dividends and more perks — all without the big fees most banks charge. In addition to great interest rates, as a La Cap member you can also earn dividends on saved funds at better rates than most banks offer. 

Do you need a new car? Is funding an issue for that advanced degree? Are you ready to invest in a home? Will you open a new business? Do you need help planning how much you need to save for the future? La Cap helps you achieve what’s important to you, and we make it convenient with 24/7 account access through our online banking portal.

Meanwhile, your money is always safe and federally insured by the US Government’s National Credit Union Administration (deposits are insured up to $250,000, just like banks). Once you’re a member, you’ll never lose membership, regardless of where you choose to live, work, worship or learn in the future. Plus, with a network of co-op branches nationwide and 16 brick and mortar branches, finding a location to access your funds is just as easy as visiting a bank. 

Because they require membership, people sometimes think it’s hard to join a credit union. That isn’t the case with La Cap. We have so many eligibility options, that nearly everyone can join. So if you want to join La Cap, go ahead — apply for membership, open your first account, and get ready to start taking advantage of all the perks you get access to. 


Become a Member Today

From small renovations to big vacations and all the things in between, getting the most out of life starts with smart financial decisions. That’s why La Capitol gives our members access to some of the best rates, services and advisors available — all to help make your goals a reality. Learn more about opening an account online through our website, or stop by one of our 16 locations strategically located throughout Louisiana. 

Let's Make It Happen


We make loans to qualified, creditworthy members.

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