The 600,000 Maine consumers who utilized Maine Credit Unions in 2007 continued to reap the impressive financial advantages of being a credit union member. A recent study shows that the economic benefit of using a Maine credit union has nearly doubled since 2005, currently standing strong at over $73 million. Credit unions’ ability to offer Maine consumers higher interest payments on deposits, lower interest rates on loans, and fewer and lower fees on financial services is what keeps these savings on the rise.

In the study, Charles Lawton, a well-respected economist at Planning Decisions in South Portland, concluded that credit unions have significantly lower, fewer or no fees compared to for-profit financial institutions. Credit unions also pay, on average, higher dividend and interest rates on savings and charge lower interest rates on loans.

Maine Credit Union League President John Murphy said that the great efforts made to offer such savings in a challenging economy make credit unions an increasingly valuable resource for Maine people. “The credit union philosophy of putting the interests of their members first continues to highlight the difference between credit unions and other financial institutions. Credit unions are owned and governed by their members, so all members benefit from better rates and lower and fewer fees. That is a key and distinct difference of credit unions. Now more than ever, Maine consumers recognize and appreciate the value of using a credit union,” he said.

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