Why Choose Credit Union Over Banks?

Why Choose Credit Union Over Banks?

Ever since currency became the preferred method of acquiring goods and services, there have been banks to store all of your money for you. Today, we go to the bank nearly every week to interact with our funds. We deal with strange fees, policies, and programs without giving a second thought to the notion that there could be another solution. Perhaps there could even be a better way to take care of your hard-earned capital. Indeed, credit unions have begun to take the rein of the money management industry, providing customer across the country with a new way to store their money without the same headaches.


The first key to understanding the advantage of credit union is to understand exactly how they work. Simply put these associations are nonprofit entities in the pool of funds from all client allows the union to provide fair deal loans and other services to its members. The goal is not to feed the bottom line but to create a place where qualified members can make their money work not only for themselves but also for all the other members of their group.

You got the power!

Perhaps one of the greatest features is the empowerment of the customer. Often each member is given voting rights within the company, allowing them to have a say in exactly how the business operates and how fund are distributed in lending procedures. In addition to giving the power back to the people in need of service, this encourages higher levels of customer service. Each individual who enters the building own a stake in the business and their opinions can actually affect the directions of the company.

Home Grown

Credit unions are often local businesses, allowing them much more freedom than chains of a major corporate entity. This allows for a much more individually tailored approach without wading through procedures and company policies. While big banks may have a prettier online program, there is no substitute for a truly individualized approach. You are much more likely to get your account and programs tailored specifically to your need at a nonprofit, customer-focused organization rather than a business designed to be duplicated across the country.

From money market investment to big loans to checking and savings accounts, credit union can provide all the core programs that a bank would offer. However, instead of having to wade through a sea of red tape and random fees, you are able to quickly make the shared pool of a capital work for you. If you are unsatisfied with the way your money has been handled, do your research: consider moving away from tradition and taking a look at what credit unions have to offer.

The Smart Choice Lemon Tree

The Smart Choice Lemon Tree

Here at Smart Choice we see our members as our family, so when one member needed to find a place to set his young lemon tree we said yes! We love our Smart Choice family members!

Smart Choice Credit Union Launch Day

Smart Choice Credit Union Launch Day

The Smart Choice Era Begins

On Wednesday, September 14, the Bradley Initiative Credit Union will officially change its name to Smart Choice Credit Union.  The ceremony will be held at the credit union, also served as the launch for 2 new programs that reflect a renewed emphasis on financial literacy and asset development.

The first program, Emergency First, champions the need for everyone to have an emergency fund that allows unforeseen financial needs to be met.  It involves a 3 way partnership in savings between the credit union member, their employer, and the credit union over a 10 month time period.  Each month the member saves $30, the employer matches that savings with $15, and the credit union matches it with $5.  After 10 months the member has a $500 emergency fund that they are encouraged to maintain and grow.  The member agrees to complete a 9 week session of Financial Peace, a nationally recognized financial literacy curriculum.  Their matching money is deposited after the member has completed the class and has saved their money over the 10 month time period.  Ed McIntire, Smart Choice board chairman, states, “The idea for Emergency First came from an article in the Banner several months ago that stated that 3 of 4 American families are not equipped to handle a $1000 financial emergency.  Unfortunately, as well, Tennessee leads the nation in personal bankruptcy filings.  These bankruptcies are often times the result of unforeseen circumstances.  We want to help our members avoid that fate.”

The second program, Rate Blitz, also encourages completion of the Financial Peace literacy course.  After the member completes Financial Peace, the credit union decreases the interest rate on their loan by 4%.  The interest rate decline applies to their entire loan up to $10,000 with the lowest rate possible being 5%.  For many members the rate cut is a huge savings.  Denis Collins, Smart Choice manager and CEO since its inception, remarks, “Rate Blitz reflects our seriousness about the importance of financial literacy.  Everyone, regardless of economic status, can benefit from Financial Peace.”

Call Denis, Diane, or Linda at (423) 559-1181 regarding the above programs or with any other questions.

Financial Literacy Course

If you have a loan with us and complete our Financial literacy Course SCCU will reduce your interest rate on your loan by 4%. There are certain exceptions, call us to ask for the details.