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New Study Exposes Major Banking Misconceptions Among Consumers

Knowledge gap could lead to consumers making uninformed financial decisions

Basking Ridge, N.J. (July 20, 2017) – Although 61% of consumers believe credit unions care more about their members than banks do, a new study finds that only 16% of Americans currently use a federal credit union as their primary financial institution, signaling major missed opportunities for account holders and borrowers. Conducted recently online by Harris Poll and commissioned by Affinity Federal Credit Union, the survey comprises more than 2,000 U.S. adults. The results further show that 45% of Americans believe banks offer more products and services than credit unions – a common misconception that overlooks the wide range of benefits associated with credit union membership.

According to John T. Fenton, President & CEO of Affinity Federal Credit Union, misconceptions have long surrounded credit unions: “It’s common for consumers to be more familiar with the services and offerings of traditional banks, but it unfortunately discounts other financial organizations that can often more adequately serve them,” said Fenton. “This astounding data proves that more education about banking options is needed. Credit union benefits are vast and varied, providing unique services like personalized counsel and education to members to help them achieve their financial goals, such as purchasing their first home.”

Additional misconceptions include:

  • Only 42% of Americans believe credit unions offer mortgages
  • Only 45% of Americans believe credit unions offer mobile/online banking
  • Roughly 3 in 10 Americans (29%) say it is difficult to find a credit union they are eligible for

Many credit unions across the country, including Affinity, offer both a robust mobile banking platform and a plethora of mortgage options – often providing better rates than traditional banks due to credit unions’ not-for-profit structure. Additionally, more and more credit unions are making membership eligibility easier to achieve than ever before.

View our dedicated survey landing page and infographics

About Affinity Federal Credit Union
Affinity Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union headquartered in New Jersey. Currently, Affinity has over 135,000 active members and assets approximating $2.8 billion. We have thousands of businesses, associations and clubs that make up the organizations that comprise the Affinity family. Affinity members have access to a network of over 5,000-shared branches and nearly 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. The credit union is a member-owned, not-for-profit, full-service financial institution that has been offering superior financial services for consumers and businesses with a member-oriented focus since 1935. Affinity’s consumer banking services include a full suite of deposit products, mobile and online banking, auto, real estate, education and personal loans. Affinity offers a comprehensive set of products and services to support its business members, offering better rates and lower fees than most banks. Whether it is a new venture or a well-established organization, Affinity has the right products and services for each stage of business. Federally insured by NCUA. For more information, please visit and follow us on Facebook (AffinityFCU) and Twitter (@AffinityFCU).  

Survey Methodology:
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Affinity Federal Credit Union from February 27-March 1, 2017 among 2,186 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Anjelica Sena at or 908-276-4344.

About Harris Poll
Over the last 5 decades, Harris Polls have become media staples.  With comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers’ motivations and behaviors, The Harris Poll has gained strong brand recognition around the world. The Harris Poll offers a diverse portfolio of proprietary client solutions to transform relevant insights into actionable foresight for a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer packaged goods. Contact us for more information.

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