Think Student-Run Credit Union

Believe it or not, you’re getting to that age where people are starting to ask you what you want to do with your life. If you’re like most teenagers, you’re still trying to figure all that out – and that’s more than okay.

The thing that’s great about this part of your life is it’s the time to not only try and figure out what you like to do, but what you don’t like to do as well. The more things you try the more you know. Which is why we think working at a student-run credit union might be a good place to start.

We’re not saying everyone needs to work at a credit union (although that’s not a bad idea!). But if your high school offers a student-run credit union, you could gain some useful career and life skills.

What is a Student-Run Credit Union?

Schools and/or school districts team up with a local credit union to be able to open up a branch within the schools. These branches are usually open only a few days each month. While some schools will only have a table with a representative from the credit union to help students open accounts and make deposits, other schools use student volunteers that help run the credit union.

Not sure if a life of finance is for you? No worries. Working at your school’s student-run credit union can teach you money skills and much more. You can learn:

  • What it’s like to work at a credit union; some students even get to work at the main credit union branches
  • Important cash handling skills
  • Key organizational and time management skills
  • Customer service
  • Teamwork and developing in a cooperative environment
  • Important financial terms and processes
  • How to develop marketing and advertising concepts and campaigns
  • How to work in a professional work environment while in familiar surroundings at your school

Take it as a positive sign that over 250 credit unions nationwide offer hundreds of student-run credit unions. If you’re not sure if your school has one, we’re sure your teacher or principal can fill you in. And if it doesn’t, this might be the perfect opportunity to tap into your growing entrepreneurial spirit and get one off the ground.

Credit Unions vs. Banks

We know you probably wouldn’t be on this site if you weren’t a credit union member. But even if you are a member, do you know what credit unions are all about? What makes them different from banks? Here’s a quick overview:

Credit Unions

  • Are not-for-profit, which means any money they make goes back into the credit union and members as better loan rates and fewer fees.
  • Are member-owned, so when you belong to a credit union you actually have a say in what happens to your money!
  • Are known to have pretty much all the same products and services as banks.
  • Are tightly regulated by the government to protect consumers and members.
  • Are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), so your money is safe.
  • Are known for having some of the best customer/member service around!

Banks

  • Are for profit, so any money they make goes to the stockholders.
  • Are a business where you’re just a customer.
  • Are known to charge customers a more when it comes to loan rates and fees.
  • Are tightly regulated by the government to protect consumers.
  • Are federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), so your money is safe. 

Click here for a great infographic that shows the difference between banks and credit unions.