MADISON, Wis. (11/8/10 CUNA)–Consumers who conduct their financial transactions at credit unions have a more positive view of their personal finances than those who don’t, according to a recent survey. And that has prompted Bankrate to look at what causes the correlation between belonging to a credit union and being financially sound.
“According to credit union data released from the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor in September, 38% of credit union members rate their personal finances as good or excellent, compared to 30% amongst noncredit union members surveyed,” said a blog posting on Bankrate.com (Nov.4). “Just 17% of credit union members rate their finances as poor, while 29% of noncredit union members feel the same way.
“Twenty-one percent of credit union members feel their finances are getting better compared to 19% of noncredit union members, a two-point difference,” the blog continued. “Both groups also differ when it comes to whether their personal financial situation is getting better or worse; 48% of credit union members feel their finances are worsening compared to 51% of noncredit union members, a three-point difference.”
What causes the correlation between being financially sound and belonging to a credit union?
The likely reason is that people who belong to credit unions tend to seek them out for more generous interest rates and lower loan rates, the blog said. Also, because credit unions generally lack the resources large banks have to build more branches and provide ubiquitous ATMs, consumers eschew convenience to conduct their financial business at credit unions, the blog added.
“It follows then, that credit unions are attracting a consumer who is more proactive and diligent when it comes to financial matters, and one who is willing to do a little more legwork and sacrifice some convenience to get credit unions’ better deals,” the blog concludes.
Is it time for consumers to dump their banks? That’s a question the CBS Early Show posed to consumers in a highly positive Thursday story about credit unions.
The story, “Credit Unions Better than Banks For You?” compared credit unions with banks, touting credit unions’ benefits–including low rates, member service and the fact that credit unions are still lending, even though many banks have pulled back.
“[Consumers are] tired of all the big fees being imposed by the big banks, they’re tired of the really bad customer service…so they’re making the switch from the banks to the credit unions. Membership was up 11% in the third quarter,” said “Early Show” financial contributor Vera Gibbons.
“If you look at the bank loan portfolios, they’re actually shrinking, whereas the credit union loan portfolios are growing,” she added. “What that means–is if you’re a creditworthy customer you stand a better chance of getting a loan at a credit union than at a big commercial bank.”
She also noted that credit unions offer higher rates on deposits and lower rates on loans, especially auto loans.
“The overall satisfaction rate is very high at credit unions,” Gibbons said.
Another story by CBS Moneywatch Thursday said to “consider a credit union” as one of the “nine best strategies for borrowing in 2010.” The story cited a 2009 Pew Charitable Trusts Study, which said credit union credit card interest rates are about 20% lower than banks. The Pew study has received significant attention from other media including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
On Thursday, CNBC noted that consumers should check out credit unions when seeking auto loans. The story quoted Jim Hanson, Credit Union National Association vice president of personal finance. Hanson told CNBC that credit unions’ rates tend to be 1% to 1.5% lower than banks’.
To see a video of the CBS Early Show story, “CUs Better than Banks for You?” or to read the full MoneyWatch article, use the following links:
WASHINGTON (12/14/09 CUNA)–Credit unions offer better rates on credit cards, personal finance guru Suze Orman told Larry King on Larry King Live Thursday.
King asked Orman if credit unions are a better option for those interested in transferring their credit card balances to credit unions from a bank.
“Yes, yes, yes, yes,” Orman said. “Credit unions–especially ones that are federally chartered–the maximum interest rate they can charge you is 18%. Now, while that may sound like a very high interest rate, the truth of the matter is many of these banks today are charging 29.99% interest.”
“So here is what I am suggesting. I think the United States of America–all of you should start looking into credit union credit cards and do a balance transfer,” Orman said.
She suggested consumers visit creditcardconnection.org, a new site that offers information about financial institutions offering credit cards. Users can enter in their zip codes to find credit unions, Orman said.
Job interviews can be challenging and stressful. Planning ahead and being prepared for hard questions will give you an edge. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth interview.
Send a follow up “thank you” letter to the interviewer showing your appreciation while conveying your continued interest in the position.
-Tracy Frischkorn, HR Director
Credit Union leader Daniel Mica, of CUNA, outlines how credit unions are strong, safe and sound with virtually all insured by an agency of the federal government — just as banks are federally insured.
Mica, a former U.S. congressman, is president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the leading trade association representing the nation’s 8,500 credit unions and credit union leagues in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Credit unions are not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperatives. With 90 million members – nearly one in three Americans – credit unions constitute perhaps the nation’s largest membership group.
At SIU Credit Union your savings are federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith of the U.S. Government. National Credit Union Administration, a U.S. Government Agency.