Wednesday, December 30, 2009


New Years Resolution: Move your money to a credit union

by Larry Geller

Thanks to Viviane Lerner for forwarding Move Your Money: A New Year's Resolution.

That article suggests moving your money (if you have any to move, I guess) from the big banks that caused the economic disaster we are all trapped in, to smaller community banks. I disagree. I think it’s better to move your cash into a credit union. More on that below.

The page, Move Your Money, includes a great video, which since it is on YouTube and allows embedding, I’ll reproduce here.

If you go to the website there’s a handy box to type in your zip code and learn what community banks are near you.

I am not sure I would put my money into some of them, though. American Savings Bank is on the list and I’m surprised. They are a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (HEI), a huge Hawaii-based holding company, so they are not exactly a community bank in my book.

Also, I had an unpleasant experience with an auto loan from one of them several years ago. I won’t name it, one bad experience doesn’t prove anything. Basically, they quoted a good rate to me in writing, so I gave up on the other higher-priced banks, but when the paperwork was completed, and I needed the loan that day, a much higher rate was on it.


Check out this list of Hawaii credit unions. I learned that I can use any First Hawaiian ATM with my credit union card for a charge of only 50 cents, which mostly eliminates the disadvantage of a limited ATM network. The credit unions have their own network as well, but machines are far fewer than most commercial banks deploy.

Credit unions offer basically the same services as banks, but you can be one of the owners. See a comparison on this page, or check the web pages of any of the Hawaii credit unions for details. Many, if not most, have no membership restrictions these days. You can join one near you.

Why not become an owner of your financial institution instead of a victim of it? Check it out.


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