Did Bank Transfer Day Help?

bank-transfer-dayBank Transfer Day Wasn’t Just Symbolic

So how was your weekend?  Do anything special on Saturday, the official Bank Transfer Day?  The stats aren’t out yet for Bank Transfer Day but in the past month approximately 650,000 people have transferred $4.5 billion from their banks to credit unions (source : New York Times) – and I think it was a good move.

Dealing with banks can be sooooo frustrating.  It’s like pulling teeth, watching paint dry and going nowhere quick.  I think it’s great that people have voted with their money and pulled their accounts away from the big banks.

Citibank, B of A, Wells Fargo, and Chase! Did Bank Transfer Day teach you anything? If not, listen up here.  I understand that you guys need to make money, I get it.  But to charge fee after fee to the little guy isn’t the best way to make money.  How about paying us 1.00% on our money and then you can lend out at 4, 5, 6% whatever.  I am an entrepreneur, and it’s real tough to borrow money for me.  The only way I can do it is to grow organically in my business.  But sometimes I need that bridge loan for a short period of time.  I know the banks have some money to lend, but I just don’t feel like it’s a priority to them.

Why did the credit unions get the money on Bank Transfer Day and in the month leading up to it?  Because they are paying better rates, making loans and treating customers like they are royalty.

And for those of you who didn’t participate on Bank Transfer Day, before you leave your bank and go to a credit union, know who you are getting in bed with and what type of relationship you will have.

Here is a list of things you should know before you switch to a credit union:

1)      What rate of interest will they pay on the money you deposit with them?

2)      Do they have ATM fees?  Oy vey, don’t get me started on the B of A $5 debit card fee.

3)      Can you get a loan (mortgage, small business, secured)?  If so, what is the rate, cost, and term of the loan?

4)      Will you be able to call someone at the credit union and actually have someone to talk to?

5)      Show up at the credit union and check it out.  Does it feel right, do you feel a good vibe?  Talk to some of the employees . . .

6)      Where are the other branches? Are they easily accessible? If not, be aware that credit unions share branches without charge.  As a member of a credit union, you can show up at pretty much any credit union and conduct bank business without any charge…and this includes the ATMs.

Now that Bank Transfer Day is over, what are the banks going to tell their shareholders about this stuff?  Probably not much because their shareholders may have been the ones that were busy moving their accounts this past Saturday!

If you are considering a credit union, do your due diligence.  Read all the fine print. Talk to the credit union representatives.  Double check to make sure there aren’t any hidden ATM fees, that they are FDIC insured and check into any other concerns you may have.

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