5 Things to Know About Credit Unions
October 8, 2012 - (CBS News) The
federal reserve has vowed to keep interest rates low for the next
three years, which could be bad news for those who are nearing
retirement or are already living on a fixed income.
Due to the low rates and rising amount
of bank fees, many people are taking their money to credit unions.
Jack Otter, Executive Editor of CBS
MoneyWatch, joined "CBS This Morning" on Monday to walk
through the differences between credit unions and banks and to
explain what consumers should expect from credit unions.
Here are five things Otter says you
should know about credit unions:
- Being a member of a credit union is not always tied to
employment: Credit unions do have membership requirements, but
these days it's much easier to becom ea member. VisitCUlookup.com or a ASmarterchoice.org to
search for credit unions you may be able to join.
- Credit union rates are generally better than
banks: Interest rates are generally high on saving and lower
on loans at credit unions than at banks.
- ATMs are readily available: Contrary to what many people
assume, most credit union members have wide access to ATMs. Most
credit unions belong to the Co-Op Network, a confederation of
28,000 surcharge-free machines across the U.S. and Canada.
- Watch out for their investment products: Often investment
firms are given space in credit union branches to access member
data and will pitch members on expensive annuities and high-fee
mutual funds that are best to avoid.
- They don't always put members first, so read the fine print.:
Always read the find print on CD documents at credit unions to make
sure they don't have the unilateral right to change penalties or
other terms after you've bought the savings product.
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