How easy are credit unions?

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by nursie, May 3, 2001.

  1. nursie

    nursie Well-Known Member

    I just started a new job (making good money) where I can join a credit union. I'm hoping to get a car loan & visa through them, but my credit is...well....I'm here....self explanatory! Are they easier to get this stuff through? I plan on using direct deposit, automatic bill pay, etc.
  2. jonesing

    jonesing Well-Known Member

    Like many banks, it depends. CUs usually have loan committees (at least the ones I've been a member of) and while CU membership is a requirement, some won't care if you have $5 or $5000 in deposits. One thing I've noticed is that there are "bank-like" CUs that offer everything from online banking to mortgages to multiple branches & ATMs (not just at a job site but also in town etc) and then there are the "mom n pop" CUs that specialize in servicing their core membership with the basic things a CU is known for: high interest on savings/checking accounts and loans.

    I think the small-core membership based CUs may cut you some slack--kinda like a sub-prime Visa, they'll give you a chance but they can also keep real close tabs. A CU I used to belong to would service only the employees (and their family members) of two companies. They had a branch office in each of the companies' buildings and so were only open during the last half of shift 1, the first half of shift 2 and special "car loan" Saturdays. That's when local dealerships could call in your info and get you approved for a car loan rather than waiting until Monday or Tuesday. They carried no cash--you could deposit money but a withdrawal was in the form of a bank draft off of their commercial account at the Big Bank in town. Loan payments were by payroll deduction and it was nice since payroll dates were on a rolling basis so they never reported you late even if payday was a week after the loan due date. BUT if you mess up, well they are in the building so you have no excuse for not talking to them to work something out.

    On the other hand, when I later joined a very large CU, they had 14 branches over 4 counties, ATMs in 3 or 4 malls and had about 20-25 companies PLUS a any resident of one whole town (plus all relatives) as their membership base! They were as bad as any big bank! Bounce a check there? $30 fee...bounce a check at the small CU? Bring in the cash by the time they close and they'll pay the check...
  3. nursie

    nursie Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Jonesing. Unfortunately for me, it's the latter that you described. It's Riverside County's credit union in So. Ca. Anyone who lives or works in this county can join (both for me). My husband & I faced layoff's in '93 (remember the recession....), and our lives were upside-down for the next few years. We both now have good jobs with only a mortgage, closed credit card payments, and student loans. I'm not worried anymore about making any payments or bouncing any checks, etc. Our problem is the fall-out from prior years. We liens (to be zero'd just did taxes & several thousand is coming back!), a collections, TONS of old lates, and some errors. My mortage co. mistakenly reversed out a payment last November due to NSF. I sent the copy of the cleared check to them in December, and believe it or not they just verified my payment this week (only took 6 months...). Now it's going on to the NEXT dept. to be keyed in correctly. Then they'll notify the CRA's, who are reporting recent 30-days. I don't want to wait another 6 months! I really need a new vehicle. Daughter gets licensed in 2 months, will need a used vehicle. We're going to S. Carolina in the summer, could really use a credit card! Not to mention that I really want to build up good credit again & put those dark dark days behind us.
    Well, I guess I digressed a tad, huh?! :)
    Anyway, my husband's cousin has fleet leasing connections & can get me a vehicle for just above trade-in value. I have to find my own financing. He recommended a credit union. I was hoping they would sit down with me, & I could explain. Our income has now doubled, & they could look at that too. If they're like a big bank I could just forget it.
    Arrrgggghh! 3 steps forward, 1 step back.
  4. ShyGuy

    ShyGuy Well-Known Member

    big CUs aren't always bad

    Because my previous employer was a large, large company, my CU is a large, large credit union. It has 19 branches. While in some ways, it can be like a bank (bounced check fees), in more ways than not it still has that credit union mentality.

    For example, I was able to receive a fully secured loan without the CU pulling a report, and it has the same policy for fully secured VISAs. (I know some small CUs that don't have this policy.) Also, I was able to join and get a checking account though I was on ChexSystems. Basically, you're about to explain things to them and they try to work with you.

    So a lot depends on the credit union and its management.
  5. nursie

    nursie Well-Known Member

    Re: big CUs aren't always bad

    Hmmm.... well, I think I'll just go in & open my account, then when they ask me if there are other services they could help me with, I'll go into it. I'll ask up front how they can help me. The worse I could get is a dink in my pride, and I've been there/done that many times before.
    If I can ask you a stupid question.....what is a secured loan? I thought that 'secured' meant that you had some sort of collateral backing it up. How did you do yours?

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