Thinking About Moving to a Credit Union–Thoughts?

Money TreeMatt and I have these joint bills, and some wedding money to think about. Wells Fargo has been wildly better designed than PNC, but both are as attached to my client-hood as Ron Paul to his Republican party card. The pros of Credit Unions seem to be:

  1. Better customer service,
  2. Many reimburse ATM fees from other banks,
  3. Higher interest rates for checking.
They seem to be a bit of a social justice-y approach to banking. In half-an-hour of research, I’ve found the following cons:
  1. Cruddy websites,
  2. Inconsistent information on current interest rates,
  3. Lack of mobile banking.
I’m still deciding, but would love your input.

Inspirational Quote:

“and you may know how little God thinks of money by observing on what bad and contemptible characters he often bestows it.”– Thomas Guthrie (though I much prefer the commonly misattributed Dorothy Parker/Anne Lamott quote “If you want to know what the Lord God thinks of money, just look at those to whom he gives it.”)


  1. We have been loyal fans of the Star One Credit Union since the early ’90s, and they have served us very well over the years. We have always received excellent customer service. Now, we even have our home mortgage with them, in addition to two savings accounts and two checking accounts (one used for John’s business expenses). Eric has an account with them, too, and he deposits checks by scanning and emailing them! I cannot think of any reason for us to even consider a bank as an alternative.

    1. Duh, Eric doesn’t email his scanned checks (what was I thinking?!). He uploads them to the credit union’s secure server. 😉

  2. We used the TechFed Credit Union for many years but they changed their electronic access and security systems – and messed up our online bill-pay records – so many times that we finally gave up on complaining and transferred all of our accounts to Wells Fargo. TechFed has a good community spirit but having reliable online records is more important to us. Wells Fargo has a fun “envelope-free” check deposit system that sends check scans in email or to my account message system, which is handy. When reviewing online banking systems, be sure to ask how many months they keep records. You want an institution that has a long bill-pay history archive – long enough to tell when you last paid for that magazine subscription anyway!

  3. By all means switch! I love my credit union. In fact, it’s the second one I’ve been in. While it does lack some of the newer mobile banking, mine does have a full website with BillPayer that is free and easy to use from any computer. Many are local, and as you noted have much better customer service. Also, they tend to be easier to get loans for cars and other weird or unusual things (I bought a sailboat). I’ve never used them for a mortgage, so I can’t speak about how they are for those products.

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