Looking for an easy way to take charge of your budget and savings? Credit unions offer a ton of benefits for their members, such as low fees and high rates. They may even make it easier to get a loan than a large bank and offer lower interest rates as well. Like banks, federally insured credit unions offer a safe place to save your money — and members have never lost a penny of insured funds, according to the National Credit Union Administration. There are many reasons to bank with a credit union, and above all, they offer conveniences that consumers need to get their finances on track in today’s busy world. For a look at how credit unions can save you time — and money — the experts at CBC Federal Credit Union share these tips. 1. Speak directly with locally based customer service If you’ve ever felt like a number at a large bank or spoke to a call center and didn’t get the answers you were looking for, then you’ll appreciate the personalized customer care of a credit union. Their knowledgeable teams are often based right in your community and won’t give you the run-around for simple questions. At CBC Federal Credit Union, friendly staff members are focused on helping each member with their individual needs and goals. They also have time-saving features like live chat from your mobile device and a helpful call center when you need to get in touch. 2. Use online and mobile banking Online and mobile banking are easy ways to bank around your schedule. Credit unions offer top-notch technology on par with large banks, from CBC’s e-banking app to a digital wallet for secure, contact-less payments. Many credit unions, like CBC Federal CU, have Zelle® and mobile deposit option. They enable members to get transactions done right at their fingertips around the clock. Whether you need to deposit a check, make a transfer to another account or pay a bill, you can get it done quickly and efficiently. However, along with technology, credit unions offer the convenience of being able to reach someone you trust during working hours. 3. Save money with surcharge-free ATMs at places you actually go When you need cash, finding an ATM should be easy, but this isn’t always the case with large banks. Instead, you often get stuck paying a high fee simply for getting cash when you need it. Not only do the fees add up fast, but it’s a headache looking for an ATM when you’re in a rush or traveling. In contrast to that situation, CBC Federal Credit Union participates in the COOP ATM network, which gives members access to more than 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs in their neighborhoods and around the country. 4. Get more done with shared branching Along with easy access to ATMs in places you go, from supermarkets to convenience stores and doughnut shops for coffee, credit union members have the convenience of shared branching in all 50 states. This means when you need to quickly pop into a bank at home or away, you have access to more than 5,600 shared branching locations in the cooperative network. All you need is your home credit union’s name, account number and a valid, government-issued photo ID to conduct basic transactions, such as deposits, withdrawals, loan payments and transfers between accounts. 5. Take advantage of free financial lessons For your banking, borrowing and investing needs, credit unions have many of the same offerings as large banks. However, one big difference is you’ll have an easier time getting answers to your questions, since credit unions are invested in their members. For learning about managing money, they provide free resources online or in-person. Last year, CBC Federal Credit Union also made it more convenient to join expanding its membership to anyone who participates in associations headquartered in Ventura County, in addition to residents, employees, students and those who attending religious organization in the area.