Dorothy Goes Down Yellow Brick Road To Credit Union

This is a new comment on a previous post and we felt worthy of a stand alone story
Guardian Reader

Due to corporate “downsizing” (job elimination), my company is no longer paying for the car they “required” me to purchase. I approached my lender and asked to refinance the loan for a longer term.

This institution holds more than 2x the amount of the auto loan in a CASH account and I have a very high credit score. The bank will not refi the loan because of my joblessness of one month. I just realized this morning that all my major credit cards (frequent flier, dept store, bank cards, etc) are with that bank.

They are offering me over $120k in credit & cash lines, I have $40k cash in their bank and they won’t refi a $15k auto loan, for which I have never been late? So ridiculous!!! I called my local credit union, and they are happy to refi (as long as I maintain an account of the value of the refi) with an interest rate of 2.51% – 50% lower than the banks best rate. Plus, the Credit Union told me on the phone that they would do this loan. I did not have to spend 2 hours sitting in a bank waiting for them to say no.

I am not going to use those credit cards anymore and I am moving my money today. We are responsible in part for our demise for buying things we didn’t have the cash for and allowing the bank to give us credit. The attitude of entitlement in this country needs to change and EVERYONE needs to start taking responsibility for their actions and think about what they are REALLY saying and doing.

Link to story Dorothy commented upon

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Another tip about banks vs. credit unions: If you travel abroad most banks charge you a 3% foreign transaction fee on every transaction.

    My credit union charges the minimum 1% required by Visa.

  2. I have to agree with Dorthy 100%! I have been with my credit union for over 20 years. I have never been subjected to the headaches I used to have with banks. I fail to understand why people have taken the abuse from banks for as long as they have. I have had nothing but good results and service from my CU.

  3. The lesson learned for me is never buy a new car based on mileage reimbursements from your company. If and when they jerk the rug out from under you…then what.

    As a product of parents who survived the Great Depression and the stories of deprivation, no money and very little food in the Rust Belt I have always lived my life as debt free as possible. I have never made a car payment or other consumer debt other than my home. It is a lot less painful to pay cash for everything than it is to make payments. Carrying charges are the premium we pay for instant gratification.

    Caught my son paying for socks with a credit card when he was in college. This is symbolic of just how nutty we have become with plastic.

  4. idahocrystal
    Dec 16, 2011, 11:42 am

    Good for you! We’ve done the same thing!

    Our little, local bank of the past decade has grown & grown and gone public and grown some more.
    When we started banking there, they had convenient grocery store kiosks that were open late and it was free to open & maintain our accounts and you could talk to a person about a problem and they knew your name and history and worked with you to resolve any issues.
    With growth came automation and service & convenience went away and in their place came the fees.

    The last straw came recently when we started being charged for not having enough money in our savings account. The bank claims they notified people of this change, and they may have, however I have yet to see anything in writing.

    So we took our automatic deposits and savings and credit cards to the credit union, who welcomed us with low interest rates, convenient services and friendly individuals who know who we are…

  5. Welcome to globalization. The IMF chief is concerned that Dorothy and other Americans like her will stop the flow of money from us to them. I say we make the IMF worries come true.

  6. Also, all the brain damaged global warming America hater people are making things worse for Dorothy too. Please people, get a real religion, please! It’s all just a consumer energy-use taxing scam. More money for the big spenders to play with.

  7. What better way to support our local economy than thru a credit union that is part of the community. I would advocate cities, county’s and State funds should be deposited in local institutions also.

  8. I too am sticking with my credit union and slowly winding down so-called services from my bank, which has misplaced my meager savings account and charged me fees repeatedly for its errors. This bank is now shutting down a couple branches and laying off people after over-building new branches, dropping services and hiring too many inexperienced tellers that come and go monthly. No more credit cards for me either. Disclaimer: my brother in Florida is a bank v.p. in charge of seven branches, but I still love him.


  9. Rod in SE Boise
    Dec 16, 2011, 2:44 pm

    If you do business with any of those big banks that got bailed out, stop. Move your money.

  10. Long Time Resident
    Dec 16, 2011, 8:32 pm

    Was that Wells Fargo or Home Federal by any chance?

  11. Loser Emeritus
    Dec 17, 2011, 6:56 am

    Not being able to afford the Dave Ramsey program, I just listen to his radio program and concluded that to eliminate debt, you have to pay them off! Paying 500 per month to eliminate a credit card balance is not fun; but it’s the only way to be free. Then change spending habits to stay debt free.

  12. Something everyone should consider is limiting the use of credit and debit cards. The .5% rewards programs offered by the major credit cards results in a 2-3% fee for the businesses credit cards are used in. These fees are in essence a big bank tax that make goods and services more expensive and shifts wealth out of local economies and back to the big banks. Stop using those cards! Go back to cash and spend it locally.

  13. Branden Durst
    Dec 17, 2011, 10:00 pm

    Locally charted banks tend to be good as well, but I have always been a fan of CUs. I have both CU and locally charted bank accounts.

    I also really like chicago sam’s idea of requiring all state and municipal funds be in a local financial institution. I’m not totally certain as to where the State of Idaho banks, but I don’t believe it is with a locally charted bank and I know for a fact it isn’t a CU.

  14. Local CUs are the only way to go. I first joined the INGFedCreditUnion in 1970. Stayed with them until 2008 after they merged with another CU and we no longer knew everyone in the organization. Have been with ICCU since then and couldn’t be happier. I see no reason to give regular banks and bankers anything beyond what they get from us using our CU provided, now almost mandatory to have, credit cards. Seems to be a simple solution to us.

  15. I am pretty sure Nampa’s banking at Well’s Fargo. There could be an unintended upside to banking with local credit unions or state chartered banks.. FDIC only covers the first $250,000 while most local cities and counties have balances in the millions. If money was spread between several institutions would be safer in case of default and there are plenty of institutions on the endangered list

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