NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. (2/19/08)--A Monday column in Bankrate.com answers a reader’s question on why credit unions offer lower loan rates and higher savings rates than traditional banks. “Credit unions are owned by their membership, so the break in the lending rate and the bump in the savings yield relate to the benefits of ownership,” Taylor wrote in his “Ask Dr. Don” column. The reader also asked how to join a credit union, and if the recent lowering of the federal funds rate means that more Americans should seek out credit unions for their financial needs. “The Credit Union National Association has a credit union locator that lets you search by either location or possible ties to the membership of a credit union,” Taylor responded. “I don’t think that the targeted federal funds rate is a motivating factor for Americans to seek out a credit union that they’re eligible to join. “If you like the loan rates, deposit yields or community feel of a credit union, there’s never a bad time to become a member,” he added.