banks vs credit unions

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by vniow, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    Having recently discovered I'm going to soon be a Chase customer (ugh), I've been thinking about moving all my moneys to a credit union. I'm not sure which banks are going to survive this cluster**** and I'm reluctant to join a major one like Bank of America since I hate them worse than Chase. I'd love to support something more local although I'm not sure if their stability either.

    I've heard lots of good things about credit unions and few bad things though I'd like to hear some more personal experiences with them.


  2. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    I've found CU's to be a better banking experience than traditional banks. Since they're member-owned & supported essentially, it's more of a community-style operation than some global "megacorp," so if you travel extensively, take that into consideration, although online banking has pretty much made that concern moot. Your money's as safe there as anywhere, loans & such are generally at very good rates, and the earnings available through interest & dividends are as generous as to be found. All you have to do is qualify for membership (though it's pretty damn hard not to qualify) at your chosen credit union. There'll always be a few that you meet the criteria, no matter how tenuously.
  3. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    well credit unions arent 100% safe either. mine failed last year and was placed in conservativeship and later bought out by another credit union luckily
  4. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I've ben a Chase customer for over 20 years and never an issue with them. I have checking, savings and a credit card from them. Their online banking is excellent.

    While a credit union may offer a bit more interest, I don't leave enough money in my bank to matter. My real savings goes to me investment/retirement account. To me, it was never worth the hassle to move.
  5. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    I bank at Wells Fargo. I chose them when I moved to Colorado. I really like them, so far, I have no complaints. I prefer the bigger banks, because they have a larger network of ATMs. I hate paying $2-3 to use another bank's ATM.
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    aw man, you know that if you open a new acct with wells fargo, you can get a 2 for 1 season super pass (if a student or know one)

    where at in co?
  7. InvalidUserID macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2008
    Palo Alto, CA
    For years I banked at a local CU because the fees were lower and it was typically more painless than the national bank branches. If I had to pick one word to associate with CUs: basic.

    Then I found First Republic Bank (had a friend in NY that worked there) and I fell in love with the personal attention and less crowds. Add that there is one within walking distance and I'm sold.

    With that said, if I hadn't found FRB, I'd still be with my old CU. IMO, they are still a better choice than the national banks.
  8. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    Credit unions are a small, very small, step towards a financial environment not dependent upon debt; they eliminate some amount of usury by redistributing profits into dividends and strength for members of the credit union. Usury is a slightly-antiquated term for money gained from other money, or by using your money to get money from other people--obviously based on the idea that it isn't earned, but others are used. The problem with usury is when profits are made that don't exist on debt that was created, but only enough money is created to pay off the debt (see the Fractional Reserve System as well as deregulation of banking!), eventually this interest profit will far outweigh our ability to repay the debts, and thus we become stuck in a cycle of usury, or servitude to those who control the money (well, debt) in the first place.

    But that's all I can really say for them, they may redistribute some of the profits they take from giving loans to other members, they may give you extra perks, and they may give you more strength than a Chase or AIG because they require the members to guide them, secure them, and feel the effects of their actions, whereas enormous investment banks essentially see themselves as omnipotent and invincible (or did, up until recent).
  9. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    I can not stand wells fargo. They have high fees than the other major banks, Lowest interested rates on account and then the highest interest rates on any loans. Along with some of the worse fees. Something is wrong my credit union interested on my CHECKING account is better than most of Wellfargo savings account (CU rate is .25%) and I have no fees, no minumuin balances.

    I want to know the bad things that you have heard about CU.

    My CU is about 300 miles from where I live but I can access it though online banking and though any CU in the CU network. No no major loss there. Mix with the fact I have direct depots it not a real problem.

    I like my credit union enough not to have to find a new place to store my money.

    Biggest draw back to credit unions is they will have much few branches that you can go to and ATM will be more limited. But remember most of them will be part of the All Point network for free ATM's, and you can always take extra cash out at the grocery store for free. CU general have high intersted rates on the accounts, Lower to no minumun balance, Lower fees and general offer all the same services.

    For reference my accounts interested rates
    savings 0.5%,
    Checking .25% if balance is over 500
    CUMMA 2.00% rate

    No fees on the accounts, free bill pay, online banking ect.

    Draw back for me is the account is 300 miles from where I live. Also those rates and requirements are amount the better you will find even for CU. CU depending on size will show how much they offer.

    Lastly do not forget most credit unions have the same protections on the accounts as banks. They are insured with the same protection as banks.
  10. Jschultz macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I used my local CU to finance my new car. I have a good FICO score, and the CU offered a ridiculously good rate, so I went with it. I still bank w/ National City, only because I don't have enough money to actually make interest for me.

    But yes, I've gotten an overall awesome experience with my CU so far. Good rates, awesome customer service.
  11. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I got my first credit card through a credit union, and because I pay off the statement in full every month, I really didn't notice anything in terms of better interest rates.

    That said, that credit union still offers superior rates on standard savings (and even several checking) accounts.

    The problem is, if you are a diligent investor/saver/person, you will follow the advice of rdowns and have your money put into a retirement account of some kind that is managed by a brokerage firm. Plus, the existence of high-yield savings accounts (like those offered by ING) mean that the better interest rates offered by credit unions are at best negligible (because ING and others can usually match or beat that rate).

    Overall, I think credit unions are very beneficial if you need a loan (of any type, because the rate will be lower), but if you don't have any new loans to generate, I wouldn't bother. Credit unions are constrained by their size, and there are definite plusses to banking with one of the (now) 4 major US banks left.

    Otherwise, I think you should take advantage of any specific service the credit union can offer you. If it's a better car loan, house loan, whatever, then go for it and put your savings in a place where they can earn the maximum interest. There's no sense in limiting yourself to one institution.
  12. Saluki Alex macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2006
    Depending on where you're located, there may be a more regional bank that could fit your needs. I bank with Regions which is in the South, Midwest, and Texas and I've had no problems with them as they have more of a local feel yet I can still find a branch virtually anywhere I go.

    I also use HSBC Direct for my savings account which earns me much more interest than a brick-and-mortar bank.
  13. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Down in the Springs. Great view of Pike's Peak from my house.
  14. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2009
    I chose a bank simply for convenience. I have BoA (let the hate commence) however I've never had a single issue with them (so far). I have checking/savings/credit card with them so I have everything in one shop. I also use Chase for credit cards as well (I have three of them). Picking between a CU or megabank was never really a concern for me. I chose BoA since they're pretty prominent in my area so no issues with hitting up the ATM or finding a branch office to walk into.
  15. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    Credit unions are part of the co-op network, so I can use virtually any CU's ATM to do withdrawals and deposits with no fees and can even go into most CU branches and do the same in person, even if it's not my credit union.

    Credit Unions are all over St. Louis. I can't throw a rock without hitting one that I can do my banking at. BoA has a lot of locations here, but not nearly as many as there are credit unions. And if I travel, it isn't hard at all to find a CU's ATM that I can use without fees. If you're in a city without BoA (and yeah, they do exist), then you're SOL. But there will always likely be a credit union.

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