Dear Madame L,
I want to transfer my money from a big Wall Street bank to a community bank or credit union, but I didn't have a chance to do it on Saturday the 5th. Is it too late?
Also, I think one problem with a credit union is it's very local, and I've been using the national ATM network of my big bank.
Fed Up With My Big Bank's Fees
Dear Fed Up,
It's not too late. In fact, the sooner you make this change, the better for you. Credit unions have as many "banking products" as most people need (savings accounts, checking accounts, certificates of deposit, home mortgages, car loans, small business loans, etc.), and in general they offer higher interest rates for savings, lower interest rates for loans, lower fees for everything, and personal, friendly service.
Also, most credit unions give their member access to a nation-wide network of ATMs which are ALL FREE, unlike many bank ATMs.
Some commentators are saying the Nov. 5 "Bank Transfer Day" was only the beginning, and Madame L hopes they are right. Madame L has long been a big believer in credit unions.
According to CUNA (Credit Union National Association),* benefits of belonging to a credit union include free ATM access, shared branches, and electronic banking. About three-quarters of credit unions belong to a surcharge-free ATM network, while some 97% of credit unions offer Web-based home banking, allowing members to check balances, view their account histories or transfer funds online. And 94% offer online billing while 47% offer mobile banking.
*Full disclosure: Madame L is a former employee of CUNA.
Go for it,