PEWAUKEE, Wis. (11/21/07)--National and local media are picking up on the benefits that credit unions have to offer their members. Credit unions provide a “financial lifeline for people from all walks of life--from working people to small business owners to people with modest incomes,” according to the Wisconsin Credit Union League. The league released a compilation of stories Monday in the media. Among the highlights:
* Money Magazine said credit unions provide the best deals in banking, higher returns on certificates of deposit, and lower interest rates on credit cards and auto loans; * Consumer Reports conducted a survey of 21 credit card issuers that indicated credit unions’ cards ranked higher in customer satisfaction than Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC, Capital One and JP Morgan Chase; * Forrester Research, based in Cambridge, Mass., indicated that credit unions “beat banks 2-to-1--when consumers were asked what institution does ‘what’s best for me, not what’s best for the bottom line' "; * The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank, suggested that credit unions should increase business lending to grow the U.S. economy. Because credit unions are not-for-profit, they make small loans banks deny as being unprofitable; * The Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan policy research and advocacy organization, said broadening access of low-income Americans to credit unions could cut the nation’s poverty rate in half; * USA Today reported that more than 1,000 credit unions have alternative products to high-interest payday loans; and * National Review Online reported that credit unions provide a “vital source of financial liquidity that can soften the blow in the face of a national credit crunch.” The publication noted that if credit unions were taxed, they’d have to cut back on loans that break even, drying up credit for some borrowers.