PHILADELPHIA (12/16/09)--Consumers who are fed up with high bank fees, poor service and stingy lending should “stick” it to banks where it hurts--by joining a credit union, said the author of an opinion piece in Tuesday’s opednews.com. Dave Lindorff, a Philadelphia-area journalist, wrote that he joined a credit union after going through several tribulations at his local bank--including having his credit line frozen, being turned down when asking that a check from a regular employer be immediately cleared to help him pay bills, and waiting a month for a refund of funds improperly taken from his account. He chose the $394 million asset, Warminster, Pa.-based Freedom CU, where he said he had no trouble obtaining a credit line. “President Obama recently had to call bankers to the White House to plead with them to start lending (unsuccessfully, it appears), but here's my credit union begging me to finish filling out my loan application, and this for a loan that will be at a rate more than 1% lower than what my bank was offering,” Lindorff wrote. “No wonder 90 million Americans are already using credit unions,” he added. “At a time when the interest rate on a 30-year mortgage at a typical bank is 5.58%, it's 5.44% at credit unions.” He also noted that bank interest on savings accounts is averaging 0.44%, while it’s 0.68% at credit unions. Bank [certificates of deposit] are paying an average of 0.62%, and credit unions are paying 1.22%, or almost double, he said. Used-car loans at a bank cost 7.5%, while credit unions charged 5.72%, he said. These days, there should be a lot more credit union members, Lindorff wrote, “but I guess it’s hard for credit unions to compete with the advertising budgets of the banks.” His advice: “Stop grumbling about your bank, and about all those obscene fees, charges and the bad service you get, and just do a little research and switch to a local credit union. "It’s not just that you'll save money, be happier … but in a small way, you'll be doing your part to stick it to the banks,” he concluded. To read the opinion piece, use the link.