Westmark Credit Union
We are a full-service financial institution, owned by our members & committed to the development of their financial future. We have 12 convenient locations.

Answering Your Questions About Joining a Credit Union

Credit unions offer an alternative to traditional banks for people who want to manage their finances with affordable accounts at an institution geared towards helping them each their goals. Could a credit union be the right choice for you? Here are the answers to some of the common questions people have about credit union membership.

How is a credit union different from a bank?

The ownership structure is the main difference between credit unions and banks. Credit unions are nonprofit organizations that are owned by the members. They don’t have a board of directors to answer to or that shapes the decisions the organizations makes about financial products. Banks are for-profit institutions who are obligated to generate earnings for investors and board members.

What are the advantages of joining a credit union?

In most cases, credit unions can offer better rates on accounts than banks. They can offer lower fees for checking accounts, better interest rates on savings accounts, and lower interest rates on loans. They also have more leeway when it comes to loans because they can take a more holistic look at a member’s financial situation when evaluating credit applications than banks, which must stick to an approval formula. Credit unions can offer these advantages because of their nonprofit, member-owned structure. Any profit that is generated by a credit union is reinvested in services for members, so they can afford to offer more attractive rates.

Is it hard to become a credit union member?

Most people are eligible to join at least one credit union. Membership criteria vary and can include things like place or type of employment and residency. If you meet the membership requirements, transferring your accounts from a bank to a credit union is an easy process.

If you’re interested in joining a credit union in Idaho, contact Westmark Credit Union to learn more about membership. One of our helpful team members will be pleased to offer advice when you call (208) 523-1071.

Tech-Savvy Ways to Manage Your Credit Union Accounts

At Westmark Credit Union, we know that you are always on the go and that you need the flexibility of managing your money from anywhere. That is why we offer a comprehensive range of mobile banking options so that you can always have access to your credit union accounts when you need it.

Embrace technology to take control of your accounts by logging into our online banking system, where you can check all of your balances, transfer money, and even make payments. Download our mobile banking services to use your smartphone to do your banking from anywhere. Our state-of-the-art security protocols mean that your checking account, saving accounts, and other personal finance accounts are always safe.

If you’re a Westmark Credit Union member, contact us today to find out how to set up online and mobile banking in Idaho. For more information about joining our credit union, call (208) 523-1071.

A Guide to Saving Up a Down Payment on a New House

Having a 20% down payment gives you the best possible rates on mortgage loans, but actually reaching that sizeable amount can seem overwhelming. If you are ready to become a homeowner but feel like your savings account will never reach the balance you need for your down payment, this financial help will guide you towards reaching your goal.

Look at Big Changes

The first step in saving a large amount is to consider big lifestyle changes that can help you set aside money quickly. You may decide that you can temporarily move to a smaller rental, or if you have a family with multiple cars, you could choose to make do with one car for a set period of time. You may also decide to commit to overtime or take on a second job. These big sacrifices are only temporary, and they could significantly speed up your ability to save.

Look at Small Changes

Small changes can also add up quickly when you’re saving money. Try tracking your spending for a few days so you can see where every penny is going. From there, you can find areas where you can easily cut back, such as packing your lunch a few days per week or making all of your coffee at home. Put the money you would have spent on those things into a savings account and watch how quickly it can grow.

Make a Timetable

Factor in all of the changes you plan to make and create a timetable for reaching your savings goals. Knowing when you can expect to have the money you need and what benchmarks you can expect to hit along the way will keep you motivated and help you avoid the frustration that can come from making sacrifices without knowing how and when they will pay off.

You’re never alone in trying to achieve your finance goals when you’re a member of Westmark Credit Union. Learn more about our bank services in Idaho and find out how to become a member by calling (208) 523-1071.

Starting Retirement Saving in Your 20s

When you’re in your 20s and are just starting out in the workforce, retirement may be the last thing on your mind. However, one of the best ways to take control of your personal finances is to begin retirement savings now. This video will help you understand how to get started.

If your job offers a retirement savings plan, join it, especially if they match your contributions. You don’t have to save a large amount of money. Even putting aside a few dollars every week can lead to a big nest egg when you do retire.

Westmark Credit Union offers financial help to members of all ages at our credit union in Idaho, so you can reach your goals at every stage. To learn more about our services, including checking accounts, savings accounts, and mortgages, please call (208) 523-1071.

The Dos and Don'ts of Credit Management

Credit can be your greatest tool in building financial security, but it can also be your worst enemy if it isn’t managed properly. Fortunately, your credit union can offer resources to help you learn how to take control of your credit and use it to help you build financial freedom. These dos and don’ts will also help you master credit management.

DON’T Miss Payment Dates

Paying your credit cards and loans on time is one of the best things you can do to build a strong credit history. A single late payment, on the other hand, can significantly impact your score. Set a reminder on your phone or set up email reminders with your creditors so that you always know when a payment is due. Be sure to work payments into your overall budget so you are never caught by surprise without the money to pay.

DO Pay More Than The Minimum

The longer it takes you to pay off debt, the more expensive that debt becomes, because it is accruing interest that you need to pay. Paying more than the minimum required payment lets you pay off debt faster and save money. Likewise, because the ratio of your debt to your available credit is a big component of your credit score, paying off your debt faster will give you a more positive credit history.

DON’T Close Your Credit Card Accounts

This may sound counterintuitive, but closing a credit card account, even if you haven’t used it in years, can have a negative impact on your credit. When you close an account, you lower the amount of credit you have, which can negatively impact your debt to credit ratio and diminish your score. However, that doesn’t mean that you should apply for new accounts to increase your available credit either. Applying for new credit can harm your credit score as well.

Let the experts at Westmark Credit Union help you navigate the mysteries of credit management and leverage your credit to your advantage. Get financial help in Idaho by calling our credit union at (208) 523-1071.

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2520 Channing Way
Idaho Falls, ID 83404

Hours of Operation:

  • Closed Sunday
  • 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday
  • 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Tuesday
  • 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Wednesday
  • 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Thursday
  • 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM Friday
  • 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday