Vantage West Advantage
Vantage West provides financial guidance and puts a spotlight on our local communities so our members can be more responsible and engaged. Let us be a partner to your financial success.
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Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school or volunteers in (as well as all businesses located in) these geographic areas…
Pima, Pinal, Cochise, or Maricopa Counties
Gila River Indian Community Reservation
Arizona’s “Copper Basin” Area
Not sure if a Credit Union is right for you?
Click Here to learn about Credit Unions and who they can benefit.
When we ask people what they think the difference is between a bank and a credit union, we often hear answers like, “It’s like a bank, only smaller,” or “Credit unions only accept certain people,” as if they are some kind of exclusive club.
The primary difference between a bank and a credit union is that a bank exists to enhance the wealth of its shareholders while a credit union serves the unique needs of its members. By holding an account with a credit union, you essentially become a shareholder yourself.
We wanted to address this and other misunderstandings regarding credit unions and provide a few reasons why you might want to consider adopting one like Vantage West as your financial partner.
Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of being part of a credit union is that you are supporting your community. While most banks are headquartered in New York, San Francisco and other major cities, credit unions are local institutions. That means your membership helps fund local businesses and helps your community thrive. Because at Vantage West, we believe that when our members thrive, our communities thrive.
Few things are as frustrating as dealing with customer service over the phone. Most of us have experienced the twilight zone scenario of being transferred to multiple operators before you reach the right representative. Meanwhile, you have to repeat your account number each time, like an infinite loop of unhelpfulness. You’ll never go through this with Vantage West because we are run by members of your community. Rather than explaining your issue to someone in another state, you’re more likely to see a credit union customer service agent ahead of you in the checkout line. Vantage West strives to know all of our member’s names to assure that you’re treated like a person, not a number.
At most big banks, you’re simply a mass of data on a screen. Unfortunately, this abstract data determines whether or not you get accepted for a loan. Conversely, at Vantage West we work with loan applicants on a one-on-one basis. This allows us to assess the applicant’s specific needs and help them make necessary adjustments to their applications to better ensure approval.
Another common misconception is that credit unions aren’t covered under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), so your deposits aren’t insured. This also isn’t true. Credit union deposits are covered under the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which insures deposits up to $250,000, the same amount as the FDIC. While it’s a different name, the NCUA serves the same function to keep your money safe.
Another common misconception is that credit unions have fewer branches and ATMs, so your money is more difficult to access. But these statements don’t consider that most credit unions take part in the Shared Branching Co-op network. While big banking has become a cut-throat business, Vantage West has found that it’s more helpful to collaborate. In Southern Arizona alone, Vantage West has 33 branches and 38 ATMs spread across various credit unions. At these shared branches, you’re able to make withdrawals, deposits, loan payments and make transfers between accounts.
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