Credit Unions Show No Signs Of Slowing Down As Consumers Look For Alternatives To Banks

Last year was the best year ever for credit unions, but you should still shop around for lowest fees and best rates

by Phyllis Furman / New York Daily News

As small business owners, Carrie and Brian Packin watch every penny.

That’s why the owners of 48 Lounge, an upscale cocktail lounge in the McGraw-Hill Building, recently emptied a savings account sitting at a commercial bank, and moved it to a checking account at McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union.

In recent times, the most they were earning on their money was .1%. Their new S3 checking account at McGraw-Hill currently yields .6%.

Another perk they like: the Packins will be getting ATM surcharge rebates, up to $5 a month, when they use machines that are out of the network.

“When we heard about the rate, it peaked our interest,” Carrie Packin said. “We want to invest in ourselves.”

As fee-weary consumers continue to wake up to credit unions, these alternatives to commercial banks are showing no signs of slowing down.

Last year was the best year to date for credit unions which added more than 2 million members bringing total membership to 93.8 million, according to the National Credit Union Administration.

Loans increased by 4.6% as more consumers turned to credit unions to buy homes, purchase cars and fund education.

Local credit union MCU, which serves city, state and federal employees living or working in New York, including NYPD and New York City Department of Education employees, health care workers throughout the state, and others, has added 11,000 net new members over the past year, bringing its total membership to 350,000.

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