Consumer Reports and Credit Unions

I spent the evening at my parents house last night. I don't pay for cable, and the BCS National Championship was on so it was a win win for me! On top of that, Margaux lives there currently as well. So really it was a win win win...that's a lot of wins. Anyway, all that is to say that I was sitting in my old room (which is now the TV room) and I was looking through the latest issue of Consumer Reports. I am a huge fan of the magazine and like to look at what their reports are on certain items before I buy them. Right on the front of the magazine it had a big picture that showed it would talk about banks and how to beat the fees they are bringing. After flipping to the article, I found that they also talked about credit unions as well! Well, I found the article online and decided to share a few of the main points I thought were pertinent. Soooo here we go!

People are Getting fed up With Bank Fees

Nobody likes fees. If you can get something free, why pay for something similar? According to the article, more fee hikes are around the corner for many of the big banks. Remember how Bank of America was going to charge $5 to keep a debit card? Well, they put the kabosh on that idea, but now they are charging $5 to replace a debit card and $20 if you need it rushed to you. That service used to be free! Some big banks are even starting to charge $25 in order to close an account. OUCH! That doesn't sound nice at all to me. I don't know about you, but in the off chance that I have to move my funds elsewhere (to another credit union of course) I wouldn't want to be charged a fee to close my account.

Why it's Happening

Some of the biggest banks have lost billions of dollars with the recent economic issues of our country. In order to make that money reappear, they are taking it out on their customers. Shareholders expect to make money on their stocks, and with the issues that have recently surfaced, someone is going to have to pay. Unfortunately in most situations, it's going to be you the account holder.

Credit Unions are a Valid Option

What are we going to do with all these bank fees? Well, the article pretty much breaks down how credit unions differ from banks and why they can offer better rates and lower fees. They even have some nifty charts to go along with it. Mmm I love myself a good chart! Unfortunately, the article doesn't talk about the ease of use within the Shared Branching network, but it still gives credit unions a good plug.

Check out the article here. It's a bit long, but definitely worth your while to read if you are still a bank customer. Heck, read it either way! It may make you think twice about staying with the financial organization you are a part of right now. And remember, if you do decide to switch, there's always room on the CU band wagon!

Are you still getting hit with fees?

Seth P.