When you’ve been banking with the same financial institution for a long time, you can feel like you’re stuck in one place, even if part of you wants to move on.
Like a bad relationship, you hold on in the hope that things will miraculously flip 180 degrees for the better. Although people do change, it’s not often the case with financial institutions.
The familiarity and fear of change are little things that hold you back, but it’s only because you haven’t researched your options. On that note, let’s take a look at the ways that staying with your bank can be like a bad relationship, and how you can break free.
You stick with it out of habit
It’s the same but different; you’ve been dating your high school sweetheart since you were 16, and you’ve been banking with the same financial institution since you were 18.
Since then, you’ve grown as a person, things have changed, but you’ve stuck with this one thing because you don’t expect it to be any different. Maybe you couldn’t picture having breakfast alone or going somewhere new for your financial needs, but should that be a deal breaker?
You get good offers to switch but never take them
As bizarre as it sounds, you can get complacent in a bad relationship and still envision your future with your S.O. Just like your bank, you get good offers to switch but never take them because you’re “happy” right where you are.
But what if your bank has a lack of personalized service, and they never call to check in and see how you are? If they never offer advice or have a lack of interest in your position as a customer? We’re not talking about someone contacting you 24/7, but that you know they’re there when you need them.
The question is, are you really happy with your current banking situation? Or could your bank be doing more to treat you better?
It’s comfortable so you don’t research other options
If you’re comfortable where you are, you’re not going to research other options (like a solo trip to travel the world) because you know you won’t follow through. In the same way, if you’re comfortable banking with the same financial institution that bugs you deep down, you don’t research other options.
But it’s worthwhile if you do because switching to a credit union could help you in so many ways. And it’s not going to be a huge transition because credit unions offer all the same services and products as a bank, except with their members’ interests in mind… and a more personalized service.
You end up paying more than your fair share
Rent, groceries, bills, takeout; these are things you generally split the cost of when you’re in a relationship. However, if things are on the rocks, you can often end up paying more than your fair share. In comparison, your current banking situation could be costing you more than it should.
Credit unions‘ customers are the owners and shareholders they answer to as they’re democratically controlled. For you, this means you get to take advantage of lower fees and better care. Credit unions’ profits also stay local and invested in the community that created them to support economic and social strength for their members.
You don’t look to find something more compatible with your lifestyle
As you grow personally and professionally, your relationship may not be compatible with your lifestyle anymore. It happens. And it can happen with your bank, too. Credit unions offer tailored financial advice to your specific needs and they have a long history of bringing banking firsts to Canadians (first full-service ATMs, first mobile cheque deposit, and just recently the first voice banking service which launched in August this year).
With a credit union, you have access to a surcharge-free national network of ATMs that’s bigger than that of most banks. Plus, credit unions are even safer for your money than banks. Banks are federally insured by CDIC which insures eligible deposits up to a maximum of $100,000. Whereas credit unions are provincially insured and offer more deposit security than the banks. BC has provincially backed deposit insurance which insures 100% of credit union deposits.
To find out how starting a new life with a credit union could help you, visit Credit Unions of BC. Pro tip: If you join a credit union soon you’ll be rewarded simply for becoming a member. You’ll get $200 when you sign up and existing members will get $50 for each person they successfully refer. Find out more here.