CUNA Chief Economist Mike Schenk is one of several credit union representatives featured Wednesday in a Bankrate article about Christmas Club accounts. Such accounts allow consumers to deposit money throughout the year in a designated account and then withdraw it toward the end of the year, ostensibly for holiday purposes.
Schenk notes that it’s a way consumers can prepare for the holiday season while also responsibly managing financing, and using a modern service like direct deposit makes it simpler. He added that it’s a service that member-focused institutions like credit unions can typically offer due to the credit union-member relationship.
“They are typically community-based institutions that generally know their customers better than the big money center banks would or the retail banks would,” Schenk says. “Because of that, they’re a little bit more interested in the overall financial health of those consumers that do business with them and a little bit less focused on generating higher and higher dividends and higher and higher profits.”
Leslie Copeland, chief strategy officer at Ascend FCU, Tullahoma, Tenn., told Bankrate that anything that helps their members save money easily is “relevant and necessary.”
The article highlights that many such accounts can be opened with small deposits, HOPE FCU in Jackson, Miss. has a Christmas Club account with a $10 minimum balance.
It also notes that “joining a credit union is easier than ever” and points readers to a few ways to join, including at www.yourmoneyfurther.com, a consumer-facing site from CUNA that allows Americans to learn more about credit unions and identify prospects for credit union membership.