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April 30, 2014 1:46 AM   Subscribe

I've just moved to Albuquerque. What ethical bank or credit union should I use?

I just moved to Albuquerque from New Haven, Connecticut. I need a good, local bank or credit union. I am currently using Connex Credit Union in Connecticut, which I love. Things I love about them and desire in my local bank: online banking, reasonably high interest rates (with Connex, I gain interest primarily in checking, which is fine, but I don't care if interest is from checking or savings), ATM fee reimbursements, free ATM network (Connex has free ATM transactions within the Allpoint network, which means that I can find an ATM to withdraw from for free within 5 miles of virtually anywhere in the US), no minimum balances, free checking and savings, excellent customer service. Also, I won't bank with any of the unethical corporate giants like Bank of America. I'd be alright with an ethical local bank.

I don't think that I have any qualifying demographics for demographically based credit unions: I do not currently have a job, am not a veteran, no one in my immediate family is a veteran, I have no strong religious ties, I'm an ethnic mutt (but 1/4 Polish, Greek, and Italian), not in school, not a college grad.

I've noticed that Albuquerque seems to have a ton of credit unions, but I'm currently spending all of my mental energy on finding an apartment and a job, so I've been largely unable to vet them. Please hope me!
posted by cheerwine to Work & Money (7 answers total)
Is there any reason you can't just stick with the credit union you are already with? If you have a free ATM within 5 miles and online banking, what more do you need?
posted by COD at 5:04 AM on April 30, 2014

Most of my credit union using friends here use the NM Educators Federal Credit Union. While you may not initially meet the requirements for membership, you can become eligible for membership by joining La Montanita Food Coop. La Montanita is the main food coop here with a couple of locations across town (and in a couple of other NM cities). That said, I still use a credit union from my home state.

Feel free to memail with with any other questions.
posted by jeffch at 5:12 AM on April 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

If it's convenient to continue using your current credit union, you could just do that.

But as jeffch says, New Mexico Educators Federal Credit union is the big one, with locations and ATMs all over town, and the "educators" part seems to be mostly pro forma these days. I've had an account with them for years, and never had any problems.
posted by Sokka shot first at 5:35 AM on April 30, 2014

I still have most of my money in a credit union local to my parents', which means the closest branch is about ...four hours away from me. It's been fine so far. I do all of my banking online, and have a local account for ATM usage and depositing the random gift check. It's doable, and if you really, really like that account, I strongly suggest that you hang on to it anyway, especially if you have any sort of credit card with them.
posted by PearlRose at 6:26 AM on April 30, 2014

I don't have a credit card with them or anything beyond the basic checking and savings, and I may hang onto the account if I can't find a local one that I like as much, but I do need something local for depositing checks.
posted by cheerwine at 10:26 AM on April 30, 2014

..but I do need something local for depositing checks.

Have you looked closely at the mobile banking options from your existing CU? Mobile check deposit is a pretty much a standard offering now.
posted by COD at 5:13 AM on May 1, 2014

Thanks everyone! I just joined the New Mexico Educators FCU today, and I love them already.
posted by cheerwine at 12:31 PM on May 16, 2014

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