Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It's Time to Evaluate Your Finances and Your Bank.

Hello world. My name is Lauren Gill  and I am an intern at Johns Hopkins Federal Credit Union. I'm here to help you get your finances straight. As a young adult, you experience a lot of “firsts”- first full time job, first car, first house, first marriage (hopefully your only one) and first kid. All of these “firsts” require good money management skills. During my short time working in financial services, I discovered that many young adults do not know how to manage their finances. You struggle to pay bills and you do not know where your money is going. Good news… you can take control of your financial life by starting to make good decisions.

One of the most important financial decisions you make is where to bank. This may not seem like a big deal, but it does make a difference. During this recession, we have had to bail out the big banks. What have we got in return? Nothing! Banks have paid their executives large bonuses, cut back on lending, charged us more fees, and have taken away services. There is a better way to bank.

One of the banking sector’s best kept secrets is credit unions. Credit unions offer the same products and services as banks. For those of you who don't how credit unions are different than banks, let me break it down for you.
  • Credit unions are not for profit, cooperative institutions that are owned by its members. That means any profits a credit union earns is returned to its members with higher interest rates, lower rates on loans, and lower fees.
  • At credit unions, you are not a number or a customer. You are a valued member. As a member, you receive quality customer service. You also get to vote for the Board of Directors which is a group of volunteers.
  • Credit unions’ philosophy is “people helping people.” Credit unions offer their members financial counseling and they give back to their communities through charity work.
Although credit unions have membership requirements, anybody can join a credit union. To learn more about credit unions and find a credit union you can join go to You can also enter to win one of three iPads.

To help you to get your financial life on track, my first series  will be on budgeting and saving. If there is anything about budgeting you would like me to discuss, feel free to send me an email at

Here’s to being financially free! 

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