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Why Americans Are Seeking Loans from Credit Unions in Record Numbers

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During the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, many Americans have relied on loans to keep their personal and business finances healthy. However, a recent trend has developed, indicating that how Americans are seeking loans may be unique compared to how they did so in the past. Specifically, rather than seeking loans from traditional commercial banks, many are instead choosing to apply for loans with credit unions.

A credit union is typically a local financial institution whose services and products overlap substantially with that of a bank. However, most commercial banks are profit-making institutions beholden to shareholders. Credit unions, on the other hand, exist to serve a community’s needs instead of earning a profit.

Each member of a credit union has equal voting rights. Instead of following rules and adhering to standards dictated by executives who aren’t members of the community, credit union boards consist of volunteers elected by all members who wish to cast a vote.

These differences influence the customer experience in ways that have recently made credit unions more appealing to loan-seekers than banks may be. Perhaps more importantly, research indicates that particularly in times of crisis, credit unions are more inclined to approve loan applications. One recent study indicates that, while banks often become hesitant to approve loans during crises, during the Great Recession and pandemic, many credit unions not only continued to loan money to members, but actually increased their lending. 

This may be a reflection of the basic nature of credit unions. They’re established to provide a necessary service, much like a fire department or local hospital. According to Jordan van Rijn, senior economist for the Credit Union National Association, “During periods of risk and uncertainty, banks tend to pull back a lot more on lending and just get a lot more conservative. But credit unions as part of their mission is just to continue to serve the members.”

It’s also worth noting that loan interest rates at credit unions tend to be lower than they are at banks. This is another reason many Americans may have opted to seek loans from credit unions in recent months. They don’t want to exacerbate their financial woes by taking out loans with prohibitively high interest rates.

Additionally, many have already found that credit unions offer similar benefits even when national crises aren’t occuring. For example, some who’ve been turned down by numerous banks for home mortgages find that credit unions are more willing to work with them to offer alternatives to traditional mortgages. 

Credit unions don’t provide loans and mortgages more willingly than banks because they engage in predatory lending. On the contrary, their low interest rates on loans highlight how they exist to support their members. Often, members have greater luck receiving loans from credit unions than from major banks because the local quality of the service, combined with the fact that credit unions don’t have a responsibility to earn a profit, allow credit union decision-makers to make these particular decisions based on a more personal understanding of a member’s situation. At a bank, decision-makers are required to follow the same procedures from one branch to another.

Many speculate that credit unions will also continue to grow in popularity after the pandemic. The way they served their members during a time of crisis has generated significant loyalty that may last well into the future.

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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Business

VPNRanks Report Uncovers User Discontent with Majority of VPN Services

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A groundbreaking report by VPNRanks reveals significant user dissatisfaction with the majority of VPN services, showing that 89% of VPNs globally fail to meet user satisfaction standards. This revelation comes at a critical time when digital security is paramount, and the demand for reliable VPN services continues to rise.

The Importance of User Satisfaction in the VPN industry

According to industry statistics from Global Market Insights, the global VPN market size was valued at USD 45 billion in 2022 and is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 20% from 2023 to 2032. Driven by the growing instances of cybercrimes and data thefts, coupled with the increasing proliferation of wireless devices and digital infrastructures across industries, user satisfaction remains a critical challenge for many providers. High user satisfaction is essential for customer retention, brand reputation, and long-term success in the competitive VPN market.

“User satisfaction is the cornerstone of success in the VPN industry. In a market flooded with options, it’s the real user experiences that set the leading providers apart. VPNScore helps users navigate this complex landscape by highlighting services that excel in meeting user expectations,” said Muhammad Saleem Ahrar, COO of webAffinity, the team behind VPNRanks.

VPNRanks is a leading VPN review platform that leverages sentiment analysis to provide comprehensive and unbiased reviews of VPN services. Its VPNScore is based on an AI-driven analysis of publicly available user reviews. The platform aims to simplify the process of identifying the best VPN provider tailored to each user’s unique needs.

VPNRanks Untangles Complex Findings on Key Features

VPNRanks evaluated four key features — ease of use, ease of setup, ability to meet user requirements, and quality of support — to identify the VPN companies that excel at customer satisfaction. To determine a final rank for each metric, VPNRanks combined a popularity score, which contributed 20 percent of the total, with a satisfaction score, which contributed 80 percent.

The study sifted through reviews on 93 paid VPN companies to determine the top providers. The VPNRanks report, issued in June 2024, provides rankings for each key feature and overall customer satisfaction. ExpressVPN achieved the top VPNScore — 6.29 out of 10 — for overall satisfaction globally. The next four top companies in that category, listed in descending order, are PureVPN, NordVPN, PrivateVPN, and Surfshark.

By assessing a variety of categories, the VPNRanks study reveals the challenges users face when trying to identify the best option to meet their needs. For example, NordVPN received a nearly perfect popularity score of 9.46 out of 10 but only a 4.7 satisfaction score. PrivateVPN received a satisfaction score of 6.69 out of 10, which rivaled ExpressVPN’s score in that category, but received a popularity score of only 1.23 out of 10.

The global rankings for ease of use illustrate how challenging identifying a quality provider can be. VeePN received a very high satisfaction score of 7.18 out of 10 while receiving a popularity score of less than 1 out of 10. The findings reveal a gap between user experience and market penetration that can effectively keep the best option hidden from the consumer.

The VPNRanks report gives users insight into satisfaction and popularity while providing a balanced assessment via its VPNScore. “Users should choose based on their priorities, whether it’s user satisfaction, market presence, or a balanced option,” the report states.

VPNRanks Shows Providers How to Become More Competitive

In addition to serving as a guide for consumers, VPNRanks also maps out a pathway for VPN providers seeking greater market share. The VPN providers that consistently appear in the top spots on the VPNRanks charts are those that have achieved a balance between popularity and user satisfaction. Those who neglect one or the other cannot keep pace with market leaders.

The report explains that those with high satisfaction scores but low popularity “might be well-loved by their users but need to increase their market visibility to compete more effectively.” Achieving overall success in the VPN market requires balancing user satisfaction with market presence, it advises.

Conclusion

As the need for VPN services continues to grow, businesses can expect to see more providers enter the market, making the task of identifying the best option more difficult. The insights VPNRanks provides stand as a timely beacon, guiding users to providers who can satisfy their needs and support their operations.

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