You made it! Welcome to Portland. You probably know
Portland as the land of bikes, bridges, and beer. What you
might not have heard—yet—is that Portland is also the land
of credit unions.
What’s a credit union? Many people may not understand how
credit unions are different than other financial institutions. Credit
unions do provide many of the same services as banks—mobile
banking, credit cards, car loans, etc. But there is one huge
difference. Credit unions are not-for-profit, and they are
cooperatives, so instead of being controlled by investors who
demand profits, credit unions are driven by their members—by
each and every person who banks with them.
And since they don’t have to worry about making big profits for
investors, credit unions can focus completely on serving their
members by offering better interest rates on loans and savings
accounts and lower fees for other services.
A recent report by independent economists at ECONorthwest showed that these benefits add up. They reported that,
on average, each Oregon credit union member earned $63
per year in savings and higher returns—just for choosing a
What does this mean for you? Imagine you have a $5,000
balance on your credit card. A recent analysis by the Credit
Union National Association showed that Oregon credit unions
offer interest rates 4% lower than competitors. So, just for
choosing a credit union, you save $200 per year.
Add this to your savings on your auto loan and mortgage,
and the added interest you earn on savings and other interest
bearing accounts, and you can see how choosing a not-for-profit, cooperative credit union makes sense—and dollars.
Another reason Portland loves credit unions is that they are
local. They are rooted in the community, and give back to the
community in big ways—from scholarships for local students,
to disaster relief in the wake of wildfires and floods, to raising
historic support for Portland’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
And by joining a credit union you join a movement that is
foundational to the economy of Oregon. According to the
economists at ECONorthwest, Oregon credit unions employed
nearly 5,000 people last year. And the jobs they offer tend to be
the elusive family-wage jobs that so many people seek. Good
employment is just another part of credit unions’ commitment
to the community.
That ECONorthwest report also found that credit unions’ total
impact on the Oregon economy was an astounding $1.9 billion.
And that’s not even including the impacts of loans and other
financial services that make growth possible.
The short story is this: local, not-for-profit, cooperative credit
unions have been serving Portland for over 80 years. Ask
around. People who love Portland, love their credit union.
Find a Portland area credit union that fits you by visiting
Local, not-for-profit credit unions have been
serving Portland for over 80 years.
CON TRIBU TED BY JAMES PEARSON, MEMBER COMMUNICATIONS EVANGELIS T, NORTH WES T CREDI T UNION ASSOCIATION • PHOTO COUR TES Y OF PARKER KNIGH T ON FLICKR
LOVES CREDIT UNIONS