If you’re planning to move to Minnesota or looking to enhance the Minnesota experience you’re already having, it’s time to consider your finances. More specifically, who you’re going to trust to keep them and potentially loan you more. What’s more important than your finances? We’ve done some research for you and created a list of the best Minnesota Credit Unions along with everything you need to know about them.
Minnesota has a lot of options to offer for banks and credit unions. The main difference between a bank and a credit union is that banks are for-profit institutions while credit unions are not-for-profit. This means that banks want to optimize for the benefit of their shareholders, while credit unions optimize for the benefit of their members.
Banks also tend to be bigger and are nationally or regionally based, while credit unions have the small-town feel of the local communities they serve. Since credit unions aren’t focused on making a profit with your money like banks are, credit unions are able to offer smaller member fees and better interest rates on loans.
Characteristics of an Ideal Credit Union
When choosing one of the best Minnesota credit unions, you should take three main things into consideration. If your focus is personal banking, look for a credit union with the best personal savings and checking options. You’ll also want to consider which credit union can offer you the best interest rates on things like mortgages, vehicle loans, and student loans.
If your focus is business banking, you’ll want to look for a credit union that has business banking at least as an option or as their primary focus. Interest rates are important here too for things like business loans. You’ll also want to ensure that your credit union of choice has a business merchant account option if your business will be large enough to benefit from using a merchant account instead of PayPal to run credit card payments.
Lastly, whether business or personal banking is your focus, you may need to consider location. In some cases, you may not need to visit your bank’s location very often. But if you are likely to need to visit more often, you’ll want to choose a credit union with a location close to your home or place of business for the sake of convenience.
Affinity Plus Credit Union
One of the most prolific Minnesota credit unions, boasting more than 27 locations, is Affinity Plus. Affinity Plus has also been named America’s Best Credit Union in the state of Minnesota by Forbes. They offer options for both personal and business banking.
Whether you’re looking for personal or business banking or both, if you need to visit a physical location frequently, this is one of your best options thanks to their many locations. They have a reputation for excellent customer service.
They also have a special focus on community support. They’ve raised money for more than 300,000 meals to Minnesotan families in need in the last two years alone, and they’ve raised more than $350,000 for the Special Olympics since 2008. If charities and community service are important to you, you’ll find opportunities at Affinity Plus.
Wings Financial Credit Union
Another prolific credit union in Minnesota is Wings Financial, with around thirty banking locations in Minnesota alone. They also have roughly fifty ATMs located around the state besides those located inside their own buildings.
Wings Financial focuses exclusively on personal banking needs. If you have a vehicle other than a car or truck, such as a boat, RV, or motorcycle, they have specific loans for each individual type of vehicle. If you’re looking for the best vehicular loan around, check with Wings Financial.
They offer contactless credit and debit cards, which are essential in this time of pandemic risk. And credit cards come with a 2 point per dollar spent reward incentive.
If fees are one of your pet peeves, Wings Financial doesn’t have any annual, balance transfer, or overseas transaction fees.
SPIRE Credit Union
For small business banking, SPIRE Credit Union is an excellent choice. While they offer personal banking options, their focus is on small business banking. They’ve got you covered for typical business banking needs like business saving accounts and checking accounts, and also for more advanced business tools like merchant account services and even business insurance.
If you’re a business with employees, SPIRE offers additional employee benefits you can add to your employee benefits program at no additional cost to you. They offer everything from one-on-one financial coaching to intimate lunch and learns and even large financial seminars. These are wonderful opportunities for your staff to become more financially knowledgeable and increase their satisfaction while in your employ.
Magnifi Financial is one of the best around when it comes to mortgages. If you’re looking for a new home in Minnesota, or if you’re in the business of house flipping and will be regularly buying and selling houses, Magnifi could be the choice for you.
There are various loans available to those who live in Minnesota, including a traditional thirty-year loan as well as government loans such as Rural Development or VA loans. Magnifi Financial is able to explain all of these differences to you and help you choose which is best for you based on your circumstances and long-term plans.
Instead of the traditional 1% or higher closing cost for mortgages, Magnifi Financial has a single $1,000 closing fee no matter the size of your mortgage. This could help you save a lot of money on home purchases, especially with the housing marking as elevated as it is right now.
MidMinnesota Federal Credit Union
For students looking for student loans and student banking perks, Mid Minnesota has a lot to offer. While other student loan organizations have lots of hidden fees and high interest rates, Mid Minnesota’s Student Choice private lending solution offers zero origination fees, lower interest rates, and flexible options for repayment.
After experiencing the Mid Minnesota personal touch, you may find that you’d like to continue banking with them throughout your life after the student phase. Fortunately for you, Mid Minnesota offers personal banking options, business banking options, and a variety of loan options that could work well with your post-student adult life.
Whether your needs are primarily business or personal or a mix of both, one of the credit unions on this list could be the perfect one for you. Take your time reading through their various qualities, and once you’ve narrowed down the best two or three, consider giving them a call or going in for a visit to see whose customer service impresses you the most.
Do you currently bank at one of the above best Minnesota credit unions? If so, please share your experiences with us in the comments.
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Born in Madelia, MN, to a now 5-generation Minnesota family, Ryan’s MN roots go deep.
A painter by day, Ryan founded Life in Minnesota in 2013 with his wife Kelly to chronicle their musings on everything Minnesota. Ryan and Kelly are raising their 7 kiddos in Maple Grove, MN.
When he’s not shuttling his kids around to hockey practice, you might find him in the shop working on his leatherwork. Undoubtedly, there will be a family trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area every summer, and of course weekends at Grandpa’s cabin up north in the summer.