Posts From July, 2012

Credit Union Credit Cards Offer Lowest Rates on Rewards and Platinum Cards According to Recent AB Article 

July 31, 2012 Categories: bank alternatives credit

American Banker recently published an article highlighting credit union credit cards as offering the lowest rates on rewards and platinum credit cards based on research by SNL Financial.

The research for the report can be found by clicking here.

SNL ranked institutions by average credit card rates for the most creditworthy borrowers, listing the top 15 banks and thrifts and the top 15 credit unions with the lowest rates for the specialty cards.

The national average interest rate is 10.86% for rewards cards and 9.85% for platinum cards, according to SNL.

Advantage Federal Credit Union in Rochester, N.Y., posted the lowest rate, 5.25%, for its rewards cards.

Educational Systems Federal Credit Union, of Greenbelt, Md., has the lowest platinum card rate of 3.25%.

To read the full American Banker article, click here.

7 Steps to Move Your Checking Account 

July 30, 2012

1. Open Your New Account*

In most cases, you should be able to open a checking account with an initial deposit of $5 to $25 (each credit union can determine how much one share will be). By purchasing that one share, you'll become a member and co-owner at the same time.

2. Order New Checks and an ATM/Debit Card

These typically arrive within 1 to 2 weeks. You should also consider applying for a credit card from your new local bank or credit union at the same time.

3. Ask Your Employer to Reroute Your Direct Deposit

When you open your new account, ask the bank or credit union for a direct deposit authorization form that includes your new account information. Give this form to your employer and anyone else who makes direct deposits to your account. It may take one or more pay cycles for the change to be made, so keep your old checking account open and watch for the switch.

4. Contact Companies that Direct-Debit Your Account

Using your last bank statement, make a list of any businesses that you've authorized to directly debit your account. Ask your new bank or credit union for an automatic payments authorization form that includes your new account information. Send this to the businesses on your list.

5. Set-up Online Bill Paying for Your New Account

If you like to pay bills online, set up bill payment information for your new account. Also, stop automatic, recurring payments you have established through your old account.

6. Close Your Old Account

Once you have started receiving direct deposit into your new account and are sure that there are no outstanding checks or automatic debits that need to clear, close your account. Warning: do not just withdraw the last dollar and assume the account will fade away on its own. Your bank may start charging you fees for having an empty or inactive checking account. Instead, follow the bank's procedure for closing out the account.

7. Enjoy Your New Local Banking Relationship!**

Once you have settled into your new financial relationship consider switching all of your accounts to the credit union.

Source: www.MoveYourMoneyProject.org (This checklist was produced by the New Rules Project's Community Banking Initiative. Visit www.newrules.org/banking for articles, graphs, and studies.)

* Revised source: National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)

**Revised source: Credit Union National Association (CUNA)

 

Fox Business: Why Small Business Owners Should Boycott Big Banks 

July 07, 2012

Credit unions are currently fighting for more rights when it comes to Member Business Lending, but are often the only institutions that will lend to small businesses looking for smaller types of loans. Fox Business recently published an article that outlines of the reasons small business owners should boycott the big banks that have been ignoring their needs. 

To read the article, click here

To understand the currently Member Business Lending reform that credit unions are currently seeking, please click here

What is a Credit Union? 

July 02, 2012

Credit unions are nonprofit financial institutions that offer many of the same products as banks, often with better rates and lower fees. Credit unions are owned by their members, or account holders, and are run by a volunteer board of directors, not shareholders looking to make a profit. It used to be much more difficult to join a credit union, but today there is pretty much a credit union for everyone. Membership eligibility is based on a number of factors that can include where you live or go to school, where you work, what college you attended and much more. Use our Credit Union Search tool to see a list of credit unions in your area. 

Wondering How to 'Dear John' Your Bank? 

July 02, 2012

Wondering how to "Dear John" your bank? Check out Charles Passy's article in SmartMoney Magazine about how to break up with your bank. 

 
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