by Tom Hinton
There's a great deal of consumer unrest sweeping across the United States. Many consumers are frustrated with their banks because we can't get loans, the interest rates on our credit cards are excessive, and banks are charging excessive fees on everything from checking to ATM transactions in order to squeeze a few extra dollars out of their preferred customers.
But wait! There is another option that your bank will never tell you about because they don't want to lose your business despite nickel and diming you! The option? Join your local credit union!
I realize changing your banking relationship is almost as much fun as having your wisdom teeth extracted. But, nowadays, joining your local credit union is simple and credit unions are eager to enroll new members. Also, they have money to lend at very reasonable terms. And, as far as credit cards are concerned, why pay 18-24% on your Visa or Mastercard when you can get the same credit card and benefits through your local credit union at low interest rates ranging from 4-9%. This is not rocket science, folks!
How can credit unions charge such modest rates? Consider the fact that credit unions are non-profit, member-owned organizations. They exist to serve their members. While they need to show a reasonable return-on-investment, they are not greedy like so many banks that must answer to shareholders. And, they are fully insured by the federal government up to $250,000 per account -- just like the banks. Gee, you can get the same protection for your money and pay lower rates... it makes sense to me!
So, stop your whining and go online and join your local credit union. To make it easy for you, there's a list of outstanding credit unions from California to New Jersey that are sponsoring members of the American Consumer Council. You can join them at no cost through the American Consumer Council by visiting ACC's website at: http://www.americanconsumercouncil.org/affiliates.html
Let me know how it goes!
Thomas Hinton is the president of the American Consumer Council.