Bank Transfer Day: Should You Switch?

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Posted on 11/03/2011

Bank Transfer Day isn’t a marketing ploy created by credit unions. It’s actually the brainchild of a 27-year-old art gallery owner in California who just really didn’t like her bank and decided to switch to a credit union. She created Bank Transfer Day, promoting it mostly on Facebook, and now around 70,000 people are committing to making the switch on November 5. Will you be joining them?


Find Out if New Bank Fees Impact You Bank of America recently announced new fees on debit cards. Other big banks appear to be following suit. You’ll want to call your bank’s customer service line and find out if you’ll be impacted. Credit unions can still have fees, but some experts say they’re often lower and less likely than at big banks.


Research Your Credit Union Options
Credit unions serve a particular demographic and membership is open to people who fall into these groups. For instance a credit union could serve a particular workplace, school, or place of worship. Head to FindaCreditUnion.com to find one you are qualified to join in your area.


Understand the Difference
It’s important to research the difference between a typical bank and a credit union before you make the switch. In many ways they are similar: they’re federally insured; they offer debit cards and credit cards; you can pay bills online. But there are differences, too. Since credit unions are non-profits, any extra money they make goes back to members in the form of higher interest rates on savings or other perks.


Consider Your Credit Score
If you’re after a loan, but your credit score is less than perfect you may want to investigate your options at the local credit union. According to credit union experts, these financial institutions are known for being helpful with refinancing to lower interest rates. Many also provide free financial counseling.


Assess Your Level of Service
Are you happy with the way your bank treats you? Or do you simply feel like a number? According to a study conducted by Forrester Research 70% of credit union members had great things to say about their financial institution. Wells Fargo scored the best in customer satisfaction as far as big banks go with a 40% approval rate. This survey shows you may find better service if you switch.


By Alison Storm


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