HIGHTOWER: Credit Unions Vs. Banks

Are you tired of getting ripped-off by your bank? Tired of getting next-to-nothing for your bank deposits, but being charged an arm-and-a-leg for your car loan or your bank credit card? Are you tired of paying your bank a fee just to ask about your account, a fee to use that dried-up ball-point pen that's chained to the bank's desk and another fee because your greedhead banker decides you're just not paying enough fees?Well, Bucko, I've got a deal for you. It's called a credit union. These are non-profit banks that are owned by their depositors.A new analysis by the Consumer Federation of America finds that we can save billions by switching from national bank chains to our local credit unions. The consumer group analyzed the rates charged and paid by the five largest banks and the five top credit unions in the top ten markets in America.The winner: By a large margin, credit unions pay us more for our deposits and charge us less for our loans. One example: the credit-card rates of banks average more than 18 percent a year, while credit unions charge only about 13 percent.Overall, the Consumer Federation report found that we could save some $8 Billion a year by shifting our credit business to credit unions, and we could earn up to $16 Billion a year more in interest by moving our deposits."Well," sniffed the bankers. "This is because credit unions don't pay taxes on their profits" and, sure enough, the Bankers Lobby in Washington is trying to make these small competitors pay more taxes. But hold your greedy horses right there. Credit unions are Non-Profit. Instead of profiteering, they pass these savings on to us. Why should they have to pay taxes on profits they don't make?To learn more about the pluses of banking with your local credit union, contact the Consumer Federation of America: 202/387-6121.

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