Credit Unions: The Cheese Curds of the Financial Industry [Part 1]

You may ask yourself, “Self, what IS the difference between a Credit Union and a Bank?”.

We could (have/will) go on and on about that topic here on our blog (also at birthday parties, family dinners, if you stopped us to ask for directions, etc.) but for the sake of economy, let us draw you a comparison that we think will hit our ‘Sconnie members right where it counts.

Consider the Cheese Curd, friends.

If you’re reading this from somewhere outside Central Wisconsin, we think you may have heard of these Dairy State love nuggets, but trust us when we say that whatever you think you know, they’re even better than that.

What do Cheese Curds have to do with anything? Well, they have some things in common with the mass-produced, nationally available “dairy-adjacent-processed-cheese-product” wrapped in cellophane you can buy at any grocery store, but they are so much more.

In case you’re not picking up what we’re putting down, the same goes for Credit Unions. We do a lot (if not all) of the things you expect from a financial institution, but with a major bonus. Every Credit Union in the US and around the world lives by the same set of operating principles that make them an amazing option for consumers.

We’re going to make the case that the gooey goodness of those operating principles makes Credit Unions the Cheese Curds of the financial industry.

Welcome to a three-part series that we’ve just freshly decided we’re going to call:

Credit Unions: The Cheese Curds of the Financial Industry

Part 1: Cheese Curds are awesome, and more people should know about them.

As far as we can tell, the gospel of the Cheese Curd only spreads as far as the Midwest and Northeast in the US, and into the southern part of Canada (Hello, poutine!). That’s way too many people who haven’t heard the good news. We’re talking about a salty, cheesy deliciousness that people need to experience and it’s almost too sad to think they haven’t.

Likewise, as of July 2017, only 4% of the US consumers who could be a Credit Union member actually are. That’s another whole lot of people who don’t know what they’re missing! What if these are some of the same people? Can you STAND IT???!?

Those nice people don’t know that they could be benefiting from the ongoing consumer education that Credit Unions offer at no cost to their communities. And we’re biased, sure, but we say that’s some of the best financial information out there.

Yes, those adorable 2nd graders can get a tour of the branch and see the inside of our vault (We thought that was cool when we were in 2nd grade anyway) but we don’t stop there. Because Credit Unions are sharing tips, techniques, best practices, and all kinds of ongoing support freely between each other and with other cooperatives we can stay right on the cutting edge of what our members and communities need from us. We’re supporting teachers from elementary school through high school and providing free (for realsies, free) presentations on the things kids need to know to be happy, healthy consumers in the big, wide world.

And it doesn’t end at graduation. Whether you’re adulting for the first time or if you’re one of the adultier-adults, we’re here to help. From a quick conversation with your friendly teller to help you understand the magic behind payroll deduction to an honest-to-gosh sit down with a financial counselor to create and manage a budget, we have the information you need to make life better. Hey, we’re experts because we deal with this stuff all of the time. You keep doing the things you’re great at and let us handle this stuff for you.

And that’s just one way that Credit Unions are like Cheese Curds, we have at least two more to cover so watch our blog and check back here for the rest of the story.

Next Time: Cheese Curds are Best When They’re Squeaky