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5 types of credit unions worth joining

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Credit unions come in many flavors
Credit unions come in many flavors

Credit unions come in all stripes and colors.

Currently, there are 7,200 credit unions in the U.S., according to the Credit Union National Association. And not all of them are just community-related. Your church, university or even your military branch may offer its own credit union with sweet deals and special perks, such as a no-minimum checking account that also pays interest.

And that's on top of the better loan rates and fewer bank fees offered by credit unions nationwide, says Bill Cheney, CEO of CUNA. On average, a family saved about $130 last year by using credit unions rather than banks, he says.

"There's a credit union for everyone," Cheney says. "You just have to find it." To see if your university, church or other affiliate has a credit union, visit aSmarterChoice.org.

Before plunking down your money, make sure the credit union's deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

As you research credit unions as a banking alternative, check out these five types of credit unions worth considering.

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