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IWalletPopI IL.A. TimesI give CUs thumbs up on low fees
MADISON, Wis. (4/6/11)--Articles featured Sunday in two prominent media outlets--AOL's WalletPop and the Los Angeles Times--gave a thumbs up to credit unions' low checking fees and referred readers to websites to locate a credit union. Personal finance columnist Liz Weston, in her question-and-answer money column in the Los Angeles Times, published a letter from someone who opened a free checking account at a bank--only to see the bank acquired later by another bank. The new bank is charging a $10 monthly service fee. The teller told the reader the huge bank doesn't have to "justify anything we do." Weston's answer: "Goodwill doesn’t count for much when banks are trying to maximize revenue." She noted "checking account fees are making a big comeback lately" because regulators are restricting one of banks' big sources of incomes: bounce fees. As a result, banks are experimenting with other fees. But, the reader has options, said Weston, who advised, "you might want to consider moving your accounts to another bank or a credit union. Credit unions are member-owned financial institutions, and many still offer free checking or have lower fees for low-balance accounts." She referred the reader to a website to locate a credit union. In AOL's WalletPop, an article, "Fed Up With Checking Fees: Try a Small Bank," notes research that indicates 51% of respondents to an online pool would shop for another bank if their bank added a fee for checking accounts. Consumers have alternatives to large banks including credit unions, the article said. "In addition to small banks, we've also sung the praises of credit unions in the past, since they also tend to have lower and fewer fees than large banks," said WalletPop. "To find a credit union near you, check out the website of the Credit Union National Association. While credit unions are membership organizations, in many cases you only need to work, go to school or worship in a particular region to be eligible for membership," the article added. To view the articles, use the links.
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