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Almost every time a thread of a financial nature comes up, people toss around the term "credit union". I don't have any experience with a credit union. I've only been a member of banks. After Wiki'ing the term and getting familiar with the concept, I've got a few questions.
Credit unions are owned by the people who have accounts there. Is that as simple as it sounds? So where is the credibility? What happens if the local economy takes a dive and people move away?
How do you find a credit union? Here in Atlanta, you can't throw a rock without hitting a Bank of America or a Wachovia.
Are credit unions typically independant, or do they come in chains? Again, using the Bank of America example...if I wanted a loan, I could walk into any one of the five I pass on the way to work and talk to someone. If I move 50 miles, there's probably going to be a Bank of America there.
These might sound like stupid questions, but I really want to understand this, as based on what I've read, you seem to get better rates on loans and such at a CU than at a chain bank.