Investments

Credit Union vs Bank

CUvsBANK開車在路上, 常會見到xxx Credit Union的招牌, 不知各位有沒有好奇過, Credit Union是什麼? 和一般的銀行有什麼不同? 我一直很好奇, 但都沒有去把答案找出來, 直到現在.

其實二者的主要業務是一樣的, 銀行帳戶, 信用卡, 貸款, 但是仔細探查之後發現有四大項不同:

  1. Ownership: Banks are corporations owned by shareholders; credit unions are owned by their customers (meaning You and I have the right to vote). Furthermore, while board members of banks are typically paid for their service, people on a credit union’s board volunteer their time.
  2. Profits: Banks are for profits so they charge you a lot of fees just to open, maintain an account; however, they distribute the profits to shareholders (if you own their stocks) via dividends and share buybacks; credit unions are nonprofits so they use the profit to increase interest rates on saving accounts and decrease the interest rates on loans.
  3. Size and Reach: Credit Unions are much smaller in size and coverage geographically which mean you get more personal attention and help.
  4. Regulation: Banks are regulated by an alphabet soup of federal and state agencies such as the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and state banking regulators.Credit unions, by contrast, are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration on the federal level, and state agencies on the state level. Beyond simply regulating them, moreover, the NCUA is tasked with operating and managing the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which, playing an analogous role to the FDIC vis-à-vis banks, insures the deposits of more than 98 million account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions.

下一個問題你要問的就是, 那個比較好?

其實二者都很好, 主要看你的需求, 決定哪一個比較適合你.

如果你是做大生意的, 除了需要銀行帳戶存放款之外, 還需要擴大信用額度來借貸的話, 大型銀行是首選.

如果你是做小生意的或是一般老百姓, 需求單純, 就是存款, 車貸, 房貸的話, 那Credit Union會是比較好的選擇.

  • 他們是小額貸款的最佳選擇 因為大型銀行對於十萬以下的貸款較無興趣.
  • 存款利率較高 (沒有最低存款金額要求), 而貸款利率較低 (NASA Federal Credit Union甚至提供100% Mortgage financing)
  • 信用卡多半沒有年費 (Pentagon Federal Credit Union’s 信用卡甚至沒有國外交易手續費), 循環利率低 (但是有可能rewards也比較少, 例如有些可能沒有Cash back or Points for gift cards).
  • 如果家裡有在念大學的小孩, 大多數的Credit Unions與Credit Union Student Choice合作, 提供Private line of credit to supplement college education costs – Zero fees, Lower interest rates, Flexible repayment plans including school deferment.
  • 許多Credit Union隸屬Surcharge Free ATM Networks and/or the Shared Branch Network 提供 members 近三萬個免費的ATM or 超過 5,300 shared locations to match any big bank.

那要如何選擇適合自己的Credit Union呢?

“Not everybody can join any credit union, but just about everybody can join a credit union”

由於每一個Credit Union的Target clients/members都不同, 所以你無法隨意走進一家Credit Union開戶, 而必須符合他們各家Credit Union的申請條件, 例如employee groups, associations, religious or fraternal affiliations, and residential areas.

  1. Choose a convenient institution:Look for a credit union that provides ATM services, or a branch network that is local to your area or belong to Free ATM Networks. Also make sure that the institution you choose has reliable online banking — and even mobile banking services.
  2. Look for great programs: Make sure that your credit union offers home lending services, issues credit and debit cards, provides auto loans, features a good savings program, and offers financial counseling.
  3. Find a credit union that fits your needs: Credit union members have more success at institutions that cater specifically to their lifestyle needs. “Military members are likely to get better service from a military credit union, because the credit union understands that lifestyle and caters to those members’ financial needs. The same holds true for some profession-focused credit unions like municipal employees, realtors, or large company retirees. If you discover that a credit union doesn’t offer a certain service, ask for it. After all, if you join, you’re an owner. If enough others make a similar request, you may very well get what you want.
  4. Shop around for the best fees: It always pays to shop around, especially if you have more than one credit union you might join.  If you want to find a great credit union in your area, visit FindACreditUnion.com or ASmarterChoice.org or http://www.culookup.com for more information. With the WalletHub credit union locator, enter your location, employer, church, school and volunteer information to see what credit unions you’re eligible to join.

Credit unions have really become the organic financial institutions in our financial service marketplace right now. They’re locally grown, locally owned, and are the best options for people on a local basis.

Learn more about Credit Unions — get consumer tips and consumer protection information all in one place.  MyCreditUnion.gov is brought to you by the Office of Consumer Protection, the National Credit Union Administration’s office dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers, resolving member complaints, and promoting financial literacy.

7 Great Credit Unions Anyone Can Join

  1. Alliant Credit Union
  2. Connexus Credit Union
  3. Consumers Credit Union
  4. Lake Michigan Credit Union
  5. Nasa Federal Credit Union
  6. Pentagon Federal Credit Union
  7. Navy Federal Credit Union

Best of Bay Area Credit Unions

  1. Stanford Federal Credit Union
  2. Provident Credit Union
  3. First Tech credit Union
  4. Patelco Credit Union
  5. Chevron Federal Credit Union
  6. SF Fire Credit Union
  7. SF Federal Credit Union

5 Best Credit Unions

  1. Navy Federal Credit Union
  2. Pentagon Federal Credit Union
  3. Nasa Federal Credit Union
  4. Suncoast Credit Union
  5. Alliant Credit Union

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)

While your deposits are insured for up to $250,000 by the FDIC, that doesn’t mean every account at a particular bank is covered for that amount. The way you structure your accounts could put you at risk because the coverage is based on how the accounts are owned.

FDIC insurance doesn’t cover investment products, such as mutual funds, annuities, life insurance policies, stocks, bonds or the contents of your safe-deposit box.

If your money is on deposit at a federally chartered credit union or the vast majority of state-chartered ones, you have coverage through the National Credit Union Administration, or NCUA, which operates similarly to the FDIC.

Single accounts

The maximum amount of coverage for single accounts at one bank is $250,000. All single accounts at the same bank are added together. Let’s look at the example of an account

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 5.07.56 PM

Joint accounts

Each co-owner receives $250,000 in insurance for each account, plus $250,000 in insurance for individual accounts at a bank. Let’s look at an example of married account holders we’ll call Ron and Pat.

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 5.08.05 PM

You can boost your coverage limits higher by opening other types of accounts within the same bank. Other ownership categories include:

  • Certain retirement accounts.
  • Revocable trusts.
  • Irrevocable trusts.
  • Employee benefit plan accounts.
  • Corporation, partnership and unincorporated association accounts.
  • Government accounts.

每個人每年至少要申請一份免費的信用歷史紀錄報告, 因為你才能及早發現問題!

注意你的信用卡公司每次寄來的文件!! 不要沒看就丟垃圾桶!

2015. 11. 01 後記:

Provident Credit Union 現在最好的promotion是他們的Checking account rate (1.5%), up to $25,000 . 你只需要(1) Monthly Direct Deposit (2) Monthly Online Bill-pay or using Debit Card for $300 spending 就符合資格, 而且還不用被套牢一年.

南加州的First Choice Bank 現在最好的promotion是他們的Checking account rate (2.5%), minimum $2,500 and up to $10,000 . 你只需要(1) Monthly Direct Deposit (2) Monthly Online Bill-pay 就符合資格, 也不用被套牢一年.  北加州的朋友可以把資料填好, 公證後寄回南加州, 申請通過後以Online Banking的方式使用.

Investments, Shopping

Attention! Credit Card Holders

CreditCardLogos_000
“通常” 當聯邦儲備銀行的利率只有1%的情況下, 信用卡利率也會跟著下降, 但是當銀行面臨接二連三的金融風暴之後, 損失慘重, 信用卡利率及相關費用不降反漲.

如果你持有Chase, Citibank, Capital One, BOA, American Express, Discover, Home Depot, Nordstrom, Target等公司發行的信用卡, 你可能要很注意新的Terms and Conditions (通常你收到沒仔細看就丟了的那張薄紙), 因為即使你的信用分數很高, 繳款正常, 這些信用卡公司的規定改變也會影響到你.

如果你的高額卡債 (Large balance) 持有超過二年, 每個月可能會被多收一筆費用, 即使你每個月都按時繳最低應繳額. 每月最低應繳金額也可能從原本的2%, 調高至5%. 另外也將提高Overdraft (刷超過信用卡額度的手續費), Cash-advance, Default interest rates (遲付款), Foreign-exchange transaction rate, Balance-transfer fee. 有的銀行減少發卡量; 有的停止新卡促銷活動和迷人的條件; 有的近期發出的新信用卡給的額度比以往要低, 而且會主動關掉沒有餘款, 且一年沒有任何交易的信用卡; 有的會主動降低現有持卡人的信用卡額度. 

各家信用卡的條件改變不一, 所以你一定要注意, 以免因為一時不察, 白繳血汗錢.

推薦一個資料豐富的信用卡網站: Credit.com, 從最基本的如何申請你的第一張信用卡, 如何比較各家信用卡的優惠, 何時使用Credit card or Debit Card, 如何累積信用分數, 信用歷史怎麼來的, 上哪裡申請免費的信用報告 (Credit Reports),如何申請貸款, 到如何幫助你恢復信用, 解決債務等等, 不論你是剛到美國的新移民; 還是已經住在美國一段時間, 但對美國的信用制度一知半解的人, 這個網站提供各式各樣與個人信用有關的資訊, 你一定要懂.