Bank Fees Too High?

Date April 22, 2010

I’ve heard so many friends and acquaintances complain recently about how high their bank fees have gotten. For things like NSF (bounced checks), stop payments and just to maintain their account. My response to them: Leave the bank, join a Credit Union! Really, it’s that easy.

Oftentimes, their response is: But it’s too difficult to change my account, too much of a hassle.

I’m here to tell you that it really doesn’t need to be a hassle, or difficult to switch financial institutions. Here are some common protests, and my responses:

But I still have checks outstanding. OK, I get it. So wait until all your checks, and any debit card transactions, have cleared. Then close out the account. You can always open the new account at the Credit Union to get that going while you’re waiting for your checks to clear.

I have automatic withdrawals (ACH) from my checking account at (insert name here) Bank. Establish your account at the Credit Union, and get the account number and routing, or ABA, number. Call the companies you have ACH with and give them your new information. Some companies will even allow you to make those changes online, in just a few minutes.

I’ve been with (insert name here) Bank for years, they know me. OK I get that too. But we, or whichever Credit Union you choose, will get to know you as well. In fact, we may get to know you better since we are a smaller financial institution and enjoy getting to know our members and their families.

It’s such a pain to switch checking accounts, too much paperwork and driving back and forth. Many credit unions, including MCCU, have something called a Switch Kit. With MCCU’s Switch Kit, all you have to do is download a few simple forms, fill them out (it literally will take you a few minutes) and bring them into the Credit Union. We will do the rest for you, which includes closing your account at your existing financial institution, changing any Direct Deposits and ACH withdrawals to your new account with us, and have them send a check to us to open your new account. And we won’t charge you to do it. Pretty easy, right?

Credit Unions just aren’t as convenient as banks. Not so anymore. Even though you may not see us on every corner we’re still around! Many credit union, including MCCU, are part of the Shared Branch Network, which allows credit union members to use other participating credit unions, throughout the country, to do their business at no charge to the member. You can make a deposit, withdrawal, make a loan payment, and much more. Whether you don’t live near a branch or are travelling, Shared Branching is the way to go. Just try it. Go here, type in your address or zip code, and see how many branches are near you.

Credit Unions are also pretty technologically advanced. We have online banking, online bill pay, and more so you can check on your accounts, make transfers, view a paid check, pay a bill and more 24/7.

We are also part of the Co-Op Network which allows Credit Union members to use other Credit Unions’ ATMs, and ATMs at any 7-11 store, surcharge-free.

And finally, Credit Unions usually have lower fees than Banks. And I’ve heard many banks are raising their fees now. Compare fees at your bank and your local Credit Union and see for yourself. In the long run, you’ll save money.

So are you convinced yet? Make the switch and tell everyone you know. I guarantee you’ll come out the Hero.

Questions or Comments? E-mail me at

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