TOWSON, Md. (7/8/14)--In an article titled "Credit Unions: for your Chapters and your life," a member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International, based out of Towson, Md., wrote on the fraternity's website about the numerous advantages of credit unions compared with banks.
"For some reason I thought it made sense that the banks I was using should charge me all sorts of fees for me to use my own money," wrote Byron K. Rupp, director for the fraternity's pre-law operations and the article's author on
. "Then I looked into credit unions and realized that I could (receive) all of the same benefits ... but instead a credit union would give me money (and lower interest rates) to use my money."
Since the discovery, Rupp said, he's been a credit union convert.
After listing several ways in which credit unions differ from banks--including that they're not-for-profits that return revenues back to members through free ATM use, offer lower interest rates and fewer fees, and are governed by democratically elected boards of directors who live by "one member, one vote" philosophies--Rupp explained why credit unions are important to fraternity chapters and their operations.
"It seems to be getting harder to find a bank that will offer our chapters free checking accounts," Rupp wrote, adding that he recently received an email from one chapter that had lost more than $200 to their current bank in fees alone over the last year.
"The idea that a Charter should do significant fundraising just to pay bank fees is pretty appalling," Rupp said. "Simply put, why should you pay a bank for the right to use your own money?"