WASHINGTON (7/9/09)--Credit unions are luring refugees from big banks with better rates and personal service, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine in its upcoming August issue. “Big banks want your money, too, but they’re turning customers off with higher fees and tighter lending--not to mention stress tests and troubled assets,” Kiplinger’s said. “They continue to raise fees, even as the grab for business intensifies and consumers are more cost-conscious.” The magazine touted credit unions’ lower fees by citing statistics from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) that reveal the difference between what credit unions and banks charge for services. For instance, credit unions charge an average of $25 for overdrafts, while banks charge $30. Also, interest payments on a $25,000 loan for 60 months from a credit union would be $184 less than at a bank, the magazine said. Kiplinger’s also noted credit unions’ lower rates on auto loans. It gave an example of on credit union that charges 3.99% for loans with 12- to 60-month terms. Georgia’s Own CU, Atlanta, offers loan rates as low as 5.2% for 60 months. The credit union also says it will lower rates by a half-point if a member buys a hybrid vehicle, and promises $100 if it cannot lower members’ monthly payments when refinancing car loans.