Think global, bank local?
December 3, 2009 8:45 AM   Subscribe

Do you use a credit union based in Brooklyn or Manhattan? If so, which one, and have you had a good experience there?

I keep a savings account with a major national bank, and have been considering switching it to a local credit union. Looking for recommendations for credit unions in Brooklyn or Manhattan (I would also consider Queens). Tell me about your experience and why you would or would not suggest a particular organization.

Bonus question: is there a reason I should not put a large chunk of my savings in a credit union? I am not a financial risk taker, so if there are risks I might not be considering, please let me know! Anything I should know about credit unions in general?
posted by Mender to Work & Money (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The main reason to prefer a national bank to a credit union is that if you travel you are more likely to have a local branch of the bank available in whatever city you are in.

As long as the credit union is insured by the FDIC, there shouldn't be an appreciable difference of the safety of your deposits from one institution to another.
posted by dfriedman at 8:50 AM on December 3, 2009

As far as ATM availability goes, there are several networks of credit union ATMs sprouting up. CO-OP seems to be the largest.
posted by Gridlock Joe at 9:16 AM on December 3, 2009

It's not what I'd classify as a traditional "credit union" but Amalgamated Bank is as close as I've seen to a "non-evil" bank in Manhattan. They have large numbers of people enrolled with them who are part of a union, which may have something to do with why they operate a bit differently from the megabanks currently feasting on our taxpayer money.
posted by at 12:01 PM on December 3, 2009

I'm a member of People's Alliance Federal Credit Union. They have two locations in BK. A convenient (for me) branch in Ft Greene near the Atlantic Mall and one ALL the way down Atlantic Ave, by the water. I've been to that one once.

I joined to get a reasonable rate on my car loan, and opened checking/savings accounts as well. I no longer use the checking AT ALL. It's a gigantic pain in the butt in terms of ATMs. I just need to be able to get cash/do banking in more than two locations.

When I had a 9-5, I had the bulk of my paycheck sent to my national bank (Bank of America) and a smaller chunk into my PAFCU account for my car payment and savings. This worked nicely.

I truly appreciate that the business is small and local. Everyone is very nice and issues seem to be resolved quickly. I know pretty much everyone at the Ft Greene branch as well as the large branch on Long Island in Hauppauge. I think that's awesome.

When my car is paid off, I'll probably keep sneaking some amount of savings into that account, though it won't be because I'm getting a good rate. It will be so I can use them for a home loan or something like that down the line.

You might want to check out ING Direct. If you are just trying to find a good bank (and can forgo the local) they are awesome. Fantastic savings rates, no minimum on CDs, and you can open up a checking account/debit card with them. My friend has never had an issue finding an ATM as they are on the Star (?) network.
posted by anthropoid at 12:22 PM on December 3, 2009

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