MADISON, Wis. (3/26/10)--Credit unions got several ringing endorsements this week in the media, which featured articles about growth, member business loans, credit card rates, benefits of credit unions and more. In Everyday Cheapskate
( March 25), an e-mailed newsletter from personal finance expert Mary Hunt, Hunt is asked, "Which do you believe is better for regular, everyday banking and savings: a standard bank or a credit union?" Her answer: "I am a huge fan of credit unions. The only difference between a bank and a credit union is who owns it." Hunt explains credit unions' structure and philosophy and notes their lower fees, better rates, and customer-friendly service. "Credit unions are as safe as banks, but a whole lot better in my opinion, because they operate for the benefit of the account holders." Other articles:
* In North Carolina, the state's credit unions have joined the nationwide push to raise the member business lending cap to 25% of assets from 12.25%.. North Carolina Credit Union League's Dan Schline explains why in "The business of borrowing" (jdnews.com March 25). Two small business members with loans at Marine FCU explain why they support giving credit unions the ability to help more businesses through the economy. Use the link for the full story. * In Sioux Falls, S.D., KSFY.com's story, "The Big Difference in Credit Cards," notes credit union credit cards are "an option that might save you a few bucks." Sioux Falls FCU President Fran Sommerfeld explains "we haven't raised our rates, we haven't cut any credit limits, we haven't added any new fees," and member Marya Leber tells why she switched to a credit union credit card. Use the link. * A letter to the Chicago Daily Herald notes that "Credit unions have benefits over banks." The letter, from Jim Peterson of Hoffman Estates, says he belongs to three credit unions because "they (unlike banks) care about customer service, they don't rip you off and your money is safer in a credit union." He advises, "If you want to fire your bank, ask at any local credit union how to search for one you can join." Use the link. * Bob Marquette, president/CEO of Members 1st FCU, Mechanicsburg, Pa., was featured on Harrisburg’s abc27. “In a year when financial institutions got a public relations black eye, Members 1st satisfaction surveys went up. More than 98% approve,” he said. Use the "Local Banker Smashes Stereotypes" link. * In a profile of the career of Jim Ritter, CEO of Valley 1st Community FCU and former consultant with the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association for 18 years, Ritter said working at the credit union gives him a chance to create a better life for the members (Valley Independent March 24).