Why should all the "perks" go to someone else? With credit unions, our perks go to all members.
We like to say that we're in it for the "little guy"!
A recent article in Bankrate.com
and Yahoo! Finance
offered CU perks for the "little guy". The article asks, "Are credit unions better than banks?"
and explains how credit unions differ from banks in their ownership structure -- and how you
can benefit from that difference.
"Since credit unions are not-for-profits owned by their members, they return savings to their membership," the article says. "For example, auto loan rates are usually 2% lower than they are at banks, says Anne Legg, chair of Credit Union National Association's
[CUNA] Marketing and Business Development Council."
Among the perks cited in the article:
1. Credit unions take financial literacy very seriously. Your credit union wants you to be informed, and staff will take the time to offer information and guidance on everything from building credit and budgeting, to buying a home. Credit unions often offer free financial education tools and seminars.
2. Lower rates on loans. CUs offer lower rates, but truly personalized service has long been a hallmark of credit unions. Legg says most credit unions will discuss loan applications or modifications over the phone.
3. Find discounted -- or free -- services, entertainment and more. Credit unions often offer discounts or free passes to local sporting events, community events, and entertainment. Be sure to keep an eye on their websites and social networking pages.
4. Easy rewards programs! Many retailers offer rewards programs today, and credit unions are no exception. For example, Coosa Pines FCU offers rewards on Visa credit cards and debit cards! Add to that the ease of the programs - requiring little or no effort on your part - and why would you bother jumping through hoops and dealing with limitations for other so-called "rewards" programs?
5. Share membership benefits with your family members. Credit unions are typically family oriented, and most offer accounts for every stage of life, from kids accounts to retirement products. At Coosa Pines, we encourage our members to share the "good news" of the credit union difference with friends and family.
And since we're numbering things, we'd like to throw in one more...
6. At Coosa Pines, you're not a number! We want to get to know you so that we can better serve you! So when you have time, stop in to meet our friendly staff. And when you need us, just give us a call. We're in it for the "little guy"... and you!
Banks Still Hide Fees From Consumers, Says U.S. PIRG
WASHINGTON (04/11) Banks are still hiding their fees from consumers, even the fees mandated by the Truth in Savings Act, says a new study by U.S. Public Interest Research Group
(U.S. PIRG). That's why one of the study's key recommendations is to "bank at a credit union, not a bank."
The study found that of more than 392 bank branches surveyed in 21 states, fewer than half obeyed the law in fully disclosing their fees to prospective customers.
Among the key findings:
♦ Fewer than half (38%) of the banks complied easily with a researcher request for fee schedules required by the Truth in Savings (TIS) Act. Only after two or more requests did 55% of the branches provide fee schedules. Nearly one-fourth (23%) refused to comply with the request. Other banks provided "often weighty piles of useless other brochures."
♦ Free checking was available at half the banks, and 29% more offered free checking with direct deposit. "The free accounts are widely available at small and regional banks and credit unions, a finding that has also been obtained by others," said the report.
U.S.PIRG also made these recommendations for consumers:
♦ Review bank statements and count the fees, especially ATM surcharges and "off-us" fees when making transactions at another bank's ATM.
♦ Examine how many fees you pay and shop around. "Look for better accounts. Bank at a credit union, not at a bank. Credit unions are member-owned, lower-cost alternatives to banks and often offer the same variety of service. It's easier to qualify for membership than most consumers think."
U.S. PIRG, which is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization, also urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to extend the TIS Act requirements to the Internet by requiring banks to post fees in a searchable Web format and to post the most important savings and checking disclosures required by the act in tabular format.