Looking for work? The U.S. Census Bureau is hiring more than 500,000 people nationwide. Learn more.
by Joan Rattner Heilman, AARP Bulletin, June 22, 2010
Big banks are eliminating free checking and imposing new fees as they seek to bolster profits in the face of new government regulations, but you may be able to dodge the fees if you belong to a credit union.
In a survey of the country’s 50 largest credit unions, the financial website Bankrate.com found that 39 offered free checking and 41 had no balance requirement or monthly fee on checking.
Compared to banks, credit unions also offer lower loan rates, lower overdraft and ATM fees, and higher interest on savings, says Mark Wolff of the Credit Union National Association. Credit unions are not looking to make money. They are not-for-profit cooperative organizations of people with a common bond such as where they work, live, worship or attend school.
To find out whether you can join a credit union, ask your employer. Contact occupational, fraternal, religious and alumni organizations. Find out from family members whether you can join through their affiliations. And check out the possibility of a “community” membership available to people in a specific geographic area.
For help in finding a credit union, go to the national association’s online locator or call 1-800-358-5710.
Joan Rattner Heilman writes often on good deals and where to find them.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Get tips and resources to protect yourself from fraud and see the latest scam alerts in your state.
Members save 15% on in-store purchases of frozen yogurt, treats and apparel.
Exclusive program for members from The Hartford.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at