On another blog, someone talked about their frustration with banks. I threw in my support for my credit union, and thought I'd expand/repeat that here.
While credit unions aren't perfect, far fewer have failed than banks in this economic downturn. If they are members of the NCUA, they are insured just like banks are insured by the FDIC. Over 98% of credit unions ARE a member of the NCUA, by the way. And of those few that have gone into conservatorship, many didn't actually serve customers directly, but acted as a service lender to other retail credit unions. No, they aren't perfect, but they tend to keep the loans they make, thus always having to run a balanced ship, instead of selling off their risk.
For most of my adult life I've been with a credit union; first 15 years with Indiana University Credit Union, and now with Oregon Community Credit Union. The draws have always been the same: excellent service, lower fees, better rates, and a business model that doesn't siphon off profits and send them outside of the community.
If you don't have a credit union account, and you are pissed off at your bank for one reason or another, I urge you to consider if Oregon Community Credit Union is right for you. I'm just a happy customer, in no way affiliated otherwise. We have been with them for a few years now, after switching away from what was then WAMU.
Today, right now, we are earning 3.01 interest on our Remarkable Checking. No joke... every month we see a nice little DEPOSIT. Are we going to retire on it? No. But if I found that amount of cash on the ground would I snatch it up? Hell yes!
The account has NO min balance and NO maintenance fees; NO ATM FEES (use ANY ATM) and requirements that meet our style of bank usage:
- no paper statement
- log into Internet Banking once per cycle
- make one ACH or direct deposit per month and
- at least ten debit card transactions per month).
And if you don't do these, you just get a lower interest rate, that's all; no biggie. Admittedly this type of account won't work for everyone; if you still think that ATM cards are some newfangled device of the devil that won't catch on, then this probably won't work for you.
I threw our savings into the checking and just made a line item entry out of the ledger so we don't "see" it there. It beat the hell out of the Internet bank we were at that had good interest rates but that dropped them a few months ago to abysmal levels.
THREE POINT ZERO ONE PERCENT, TODAY! It was 6 percent when we joined a year ago. Compare this to other local places that tout a huge interest checking of like 0.25%. Whooptiedo.
My paycheck is direct deposited, and I use the debit card for all my gas, grocery, etc. purchases so this one is a no brainer for us. Free money.
They only have one location on South Commercial which is a bummer, but they are a member of the credit union network that allows you to do basic banking transactions at all other member banks (which in Salem includes OSU FCU, Oregon Employees FCU, Unitus and various 7-11 kiosks). See CUSWIRL.com for credit unions that are part of the Share Branch system. They are all over.
I rarely, if ever, need to visit a teller, especially considering you can withdraw/deposit for FREE using ATMs at banks that are part of the network. And, you can withdraw for FREE from ANY ATM; they credit the charges back to you at the end of the cycle.
We refinanced a new auto loan through them, too, and it was quick, easy, with great rates.
I can't say enough good things about them. I'm just a customer, in no way affiliated with them in any other way. (Yeah, I know I already said that, but it needed repreating.)
Go get your FREE money each month through their great interest rate, and support a community credit union which works locally to support you, your neighbor, etc.