Why not own the bank?

An article today about soaring bank fees is yet another reminder why you should own your own bank rather than helping wealthy bank shareholders make their yacht payments. When you join a credit union, you buy a share by placing $5 to $25 on deposit and then you reap the profits. Credit unions divert the profits to their members by paying higher interest rates on deposits and charging lower interest rates on loans, and their fees are lower. (The interest rate on my credit union Visa card is just 8%, for example, and my savings account earns 2.25% APY.)

If you live in Athens-Clarke County, you are fortunate to have at least three credit unions available to you, Georgia Federal Credit Union, Clarke Community Federal Credit Union, and Robins Federal Credit Union. You are also eligible to join Georgia FCU by virtue of working or studying at the University of Georgia. (Credit unions require an affinity such as a common employer or county of residence.)

It's a mystery to me why anyone would open an account at a place like Bank of America and pay for all their crazy fees. Credit unions have multiple branches, and their share their ATMs with members of other credit unions for no fees. Joining a credit union is the best banking decision you'll ever make.


The Crotchety Old Man said...

In the old days, credit unions were always a better deal than banks. Now you need to shop around and compare. Some credit unions charge as much or more than traditional banks. You can also end up paying more if you end up having to use out of network ATMs.

Bob Brussack said...

I've been happy with online banking at schwab.com. Their checking account pays interest (not as much now, of course), and they pick up the tab for ATM fees, so you can use any ATM you want.