If you are reading this you are probably already a credit union member, yet your primary financial institution may still be a megabank. So, I ask you, what has your bank done for you lately? Since 2008 banks have accepted hundreds of billions of dollars in federal bailout money, raised their already excessive fees to exorbitant levels, increased credit card interest rates, changed credit card terms and conditions, and tightened credit standards to a stranglehold. These actions are not the way to treat loyal members or customers and that’s not the way we do business at Members Credit Union.
Here is an example. Recently, a branch manager told me the story of a member who needed a check copy from another financial institution. The fee? $25! For a check copy that took the teller ten seconds to produce. At Members Credit Union, check copies are free when you use MCU@Home, our free home-banking product (and we will show you how to do this). If you ask for a check copy in one of our twenty branch locations you will be charged no more than $1 per copy (for $25, I would expect at least a song or dance while I wait for the photocopy).
Unfortunately, the megabank’s customer abuse does not end with high fees. Banks viciously fight government regulations that protect consumers. In response to the Credit Card Disclosure Act passed by Congress last year, banks quickly changed rates, fees, and conditions to circumvent many of the legislation’s clauses. What was MCU’s response? Our credit card terms and fees have not changed at all. Furthermore, when families and entrepreneurs needed loans at the end of the longest recession this country has seen since World War II, how did the banks react? By tightening credit standards. At MCU we actually encourage our members to borrow if they need a loan. Banks, on the other hand, have tightened credit standards to the point that you better have Bill Gates and Warren Buffet as cosigners if you want to be approved for a loan.
Why is Members Credit Union better? Unlike banks, whose directors are guided by their wealthiest shareholders, everything we do is to help our members. Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions. Since we are not-for-profit, earnings are returned to members in the form of lower and fewer fees, higher dividend rates, and lower loan rates. Our board of directors are volunteers who are democratically elected by our members. Each member’s vote is equally counted, not weighted by wealth. Since we are not driven by profit margin our fees and rates are favorable when compared to megabanks. The chart below illustrates this difference. Want to save money? Break up with your bank and move your money to your credit union.
If you are tired of being misled, mistreated, or just plain ignored by your bank then it is time to make a change. Break up with your bank. I know of a credit union that’s been around since 1953, who knows how to treat members well, is able to handle all of your financial needs, and they won’t charge you an arm and a leg to do it. Visit any Members Credit Union branch or call our Member Services Department. An MCU Representative will be happy to guide you through the process of moving your accounts. And, be sure to tell them Jack sent you.
- Move Your Money: John McLemore, an MCU Member and Ask Jack reader, sent me the following link a few weeks back. This site has many people thinking about moving their money and has added credit unions to their list of alternatives to big banks after their readers made the suggestion.