What to look for in credit unions/good ones in MD?
June 3, 2014 7:07 AM   Subscribe

I'm asking on behalf of a friend looking to join a credit union in Maryland. What should I be looking for? What are some red flags? Also, what are some good ones that you've had personal experience with?

There was a similar question posed 3 years ago, but I have a few more snowflake details about my friend.

* She's a professor (could be eligible for specialized credit unions?)
* Lives in Baltimore City
* She's looking to build her own house in a few years, so loan rates are important
* She also travels internationally often, so she needs access to ATMs internationally
* Good mobile app is a plus
* Good customer service is a plus plus
* And donations, if any, to charitable organizations would be cool

posted by facehugger to Work & Money (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is she a professor at JHU? I've been pretty happy with JHFCU, but you do need a JHU affiliation. I have my car loan through them, with good rates (don't know about mortgages), and I've never had a problem with ATMs in Europe at least. Their mobile app seems fine but I haven't used it much.
posted by advil at 7:24 AM on June 3, 2014

So to start off Pentagon Federal credit union does not have access to great ATM's however most credit unions don't have great access to ATM especially internationally.
You can join them by making a chartiable donation to National Military Family association which brings additional benifits like insurance discounts etc.

By personal experience , they have great customer service and great rates.
Memail if you need more info
posted by radsqd at 7:36 AM on June 3, 2014

I don't have a specific credit union there to suggest, but if she is switching from a major bank, she should make sure to be clear on what she wants WRT online banking, autopays, multiple linked accounts, and ATM use.

Most credit unions now have online banking and broad ATM networks (or reimburse ATM fees), but many of the online banking systems will not update in realtime like major banks would. This isn't a problem for many people, but if it is, it's one that she'll want to discover BEFORE opening the account (mine updates with a 1 day lag on business days and does nothing on the weekends—I wish I'd known this before opening the account). A broad ATM network is great, but if it's only enabling her to withdraw cash or check balances without a fee, she should be sure that this will never cause her inconvenience if she needs to deposit a check.

She should also make sure to specifically ask about use of international ATMs and whether she needs to notify the credit union when she will be traveling internationally. Some are better set up for this than others.
posted by cheerwine at 6:09 PM on June 3, 2014

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