FOSTER CITY, Calif. (1/9/14)--Kristin Wong, a writer for the personal finance blog "Get Rich Slowly," is determined to leave her bank this year, and with that, is investigating the advantages that credit unions provide.
Wong started the year with a number of money-related resolutions, one of which was "switch banks." Her current account with a bank not only doesn't earn interest, it also charges her a $12 fee when she drops below the minimum balance. "That's just rude," she wrote Jan. 2.
In her most recent post, she considers the pros and cons of credit unions and banks. "The main draw I've often heard about credit unions is they offer lower interest rates on loans and higher interest rates on savings," she wrote Wednesday.
Wong also looked at no- or low-fee checking accounts and overdraft charges in her comparison.
However, the not-for-profit, member-owned structure put credit unions in the win column for business model, she said.
"Overall, though, a non-profit structure usually translates to: a) not feeling like your financial institution is trying to take advantage of you, and; b) not seeing your financial institution's name next to the words 'crooked' and 'discrimination,'" Wong wrote.
Even as Wong continues her research, perhaps what will be more helpful will be the numerous comments made by readers about shared branching, no-fee ATM networks and member service.
"Get Rich Slowly" is a personal finance blog that was founded by J.D. Roth in 2006.