Skip to comments.NAFCU Offers 5 Reasons Credit Unions Are Better Than Banks
Posted on 10/15/2012 9:59:02 AM PDT by RKBA Democrat
Credit unions continue to prove that they offer consumers advantages over banks. According to the latest Bankrate survey, the average monthly fee on noninterest checking accounts offered by a bank rose a record 25 percent. By contrast, credit unions continue to hold the line on checking account fees.
Its clear that people today are gravitating toward true value when theyre looking for a financial institution. Credit unions offer that true value, said Fred Becker, president and CEO of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU).
Here are some of the benefits of credit unions:
1. People before profits At credit unions, members are owners and have a say in how it is operated. In fact, credit unions are governed by a board of directors made up of volunteer members. Members come first, not profits. Instead, credit unions return any "profits to members in the form of lower fees and better rates.
2. Joining/switching is easy Find a credit union to join at www.culookup.com. You can apply at a branch or online. Many credit unions have online forms or switch kits that make switching a snap. It only takes a few minutes to open a new account and transfer funds. Once your account is established, you can also implement your automatic bill payment options.
3. Low minimum balances and fees Bankrate reports that the average minimum account balance required of bank customers is $723up 23 percent over last yearand the average monthly fee has risen 25 percent to $5.48. At most credit unions, you can open an account for as little as $5 and the majority still offer no-fee checking.
4. Low interest rates on credit cards and loans Recent figures show that average rates for credit union classic credit cards are 11.68, as compared with 13.28 at banks. Compare rates between credit unions and banks at www.culookup.com/CompareCURates.
5. Convenience Many credit unions participate in a shared branching network that gives members access to locations in all 50 states. They also offer access to tens of thousands of free ATMs nationwide, including at key 7-Eleven locations.
In addition, deposits in the nations federal credit unions are federally insured through the National Credit Union Administration. Credit unions offer a wide range of products, including savings/checking accounts, debit cards, credit cards and auto and mortgage loans, as well as online banking.
The National Association of Federal Credit Unions is the only national organization that focuses exclusively on federal issues affecting credit unions, representing its members before the federal government and the public.
7. Tiny Tim Geithner didn't work for a credit union.
8. When Helicopter Ben retires, he won't be working for a credit union.
I am not against Credit Unions, but BEWARE they are regulated differently.
Years ago, when I called my Credit Union to let them know I had been laid off, and give them a heads up, they instantly LOCKED ALL MY ACCOUNTS.
Don’t go in blind.
Credit Union to let them know I had been laid off, and give them a heads up, they instantly LOCKED ALL MY ACCOUNTS.
Dont go in blind.
Every credit union is different. They are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Some of the larger credit unions (and some can have as many assets as a bank), will operate more like banks and some will operate the way they are supposed to as “member owned-member driven”. I love my credit union, ASI FCU, but the other day I wrote a check out to cash but I asked someone else to cash it at my credit union. They charged me $7 to cash the check. I called and complained, explaining this practice was sounding like a bank instead of my credit union - they agreed. Since credit unions are member owned, one can run for board of directors and have one vote. So, I will continue to pursue my $7.
There are bad credit unions. I called one that I was eligible to join many years ago, and they were .5% to 1% higher on auto loans than my regular bank, and they were pretty rude about answering questions as to why. I called back a few years later when buying my next car, same spread in interest rates and the same attitude. I never did join.
Here are a couple of strategies to join a credit union if you don’t have one in your area.
1. Join Pentagon Federal: https://www.penfed.org/
They serve primarily military, but members of a number of military related organizations can join. Join the National Museum of American Jewish Military History (anyone can join, $25) and you qualify for Penfed membership.
2. Join Navy Federal Credit Union. https://www.navyfederal.org/
Harder than Penfed to join if you’re not military, but much larger and in more locations. Eligible folks include:
-All Department of Defense (DoD) uniformed personnelArmy, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force retirees and annuitants
-All Department of Defense ReservistsArmy, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force retirees and annuitants
-All Army and Air National Guard Personnelcivilian employees, retirees and annuitants
-All Delayed Entry Program (DEP) Personnel
-All DoD Officer Candidate programsMidshipmen and cadets at the United States Naval Academy, United States Military Academy, United States Air Force Academy, United States Coast Guard Academy and the United States Merchant Marine Academy; Other Officer Programs*
-U.S. government employees assigned to DoD installations (including Coast Guard)
-All DoD civilian employeesincluding retirees and annuitants
-DoD contractors assigned to U.S. Government installations
-Family Membersincluding grandparents, parents, spouses, siblings, grandchildren, children (including adopted and stepchildren) and household members.
Caveat emptor is always the order of the day. Shop around.
And then there’s the one reason to not switch:
Yeah the CUs like to say they’re convenient. But my bank has a branch half a mile from where I’m sitting, another 1 mile from, and a branch in my favorite grocery store. I did a CU and a bank for a while for a car loan, but I never did anything with the CU, they just weren’t convenient.
“And then theres the one reason to not switch:
It’s rare that I go to a branch anymore. With all the interlocking ATM agreements and online banking, there’s simply no need.
The only need to join a credit union is for the low interest auto loans.
Ooops. Scratch that. Since the dealers now undercut the credit unions with factory financing.... Why join a credit union?
Really? I thought dealer financing was always a bad deal.
In general I’m only using ATMs, but all my ATMs are at branches, no need for interlocking agreements, no worries about fees, and if I actually need banking there it is. Also the presence of the bank makes it easier to know where there’s an ATM, I have no idea what ATMs in the world were co-operative with my CU or where they were, if I see a Wells Fargo sign I know immediate there is an ATM I can use.
...or you just go to any 7-11 or look up the co-op machines on your PDA. Not that big of a deal, even when traveling.
Really? I thought dealer financing was always a bad deal.
It certainly can be. The best method is to shop around. If the dealer offers a 0.0 or 0.9 percent rate, it is probably based on a lower rebate to you. This means that if you paid cash or obtained outside financing for your new vehicle the price might be $25,000.00 including rebates. But if you take the 0.9 interest rate, you forego some of the rebate and you finance maybe $28,000.00.
So, go to your handy-dandy credit union and see if financing $25,000 at 4.9 % is a better deal over 60 or 72 months than financing $28,000 at 0.9%.
Do the math. Usually - but not always - you do better with factory financing.
I don’t go to convenience stores anymore, not sure why they just fell out of my life. And I don’t have or need a PDA. Especially not to find an ATM, if there’s a big yellow and red sign it’s either a McDonalds or a Wells Fargo, I’ve got a 50/50 shot.
“..if theres a big yellow and red sign its either a McDonalds or a Wells Fargo, Ive got a 50/50 shot.”