1. Washerdreyer says

    By any chance have you tried integrating your account at unnamed credit union with a account? I’m considering following your example vis-a-vis emergency fund, but am slightly worried about keeping track of my progress on the monthly debit transactions requirement. Mint would make that much easier, so just want to confirm that despite being low-tech that’s doable with this credit union.

    • washerdreyer says

      Ok, thanks for the help, I have a vague memory of having seen on a different site that someone was able to use Mint with them.

    • Harry says

      If you already have a account, just try to add a new account with the credit union even if you don’t have an account yet. If doesn’t support it, I imagine it will say so.

  2. alanb says

    Washerdreyer: Another instance where big banks are better(in my experience, at least). My credit union won’t allow to log in to my account unless I’m already logged in on another browser. No problem with my national big bank accounts. Maybe your CU will be more receptive!

  3. TJ says

    Not all Credit Unions are as low budget as you imply.

    Alliant has always had a relatively high interest rate for savings and checking, it’s a good hub for ACH and you can pick your own username. You also choose your own PIN.

    • Harry says

      I still have my primary checking account at Alliant. It’s definitely more streamlined than this other credit union. However, its rate on the savings account is no longer competitive with other online banks. If I’m starting fresh I wouldn’t use Alliant.

    • Steve says

      I have an account at a credit union and don’t find any of the drawbacks you encountered. The phone number for the support line is on my debit card and it’s truly 24/7. The web site is great and they have mobile apps for every platform. I was able to choose my username (I can tell you why that feature doesn’t exist for your example CU – because they never created that feature. Features don’t exist in websites, or anywhere else, until someone creates them!). I can’t speak to account creation, though their loan process was, similar to what you found, more of a data gathering form than anything else.

  4. Christy L says

    I disagree with just about all of your bank superlatives, but I have been a member of Navy Federal Credit Union since the 70s and they are hard to beat!

    I heartily recommend them to all service members and any family members joining through them. The branch of service doesn’t matter-

    Good luck.

  5. TJ says


    I have active accounts with three credit unions. I find all websites to much more user friendly than say, BBVA Compass (for the ‘build my savings’). Is that not a ‘big’ bank?

    • Harry says

      BBVA is big in Spain and in Latin America. The Compass part isn’t that big in the U.S., at least not nationally. FDIC data show it ranks No. 26 by deposits.

      BBVA “Build My Savings” is set-and-forget for me. I don’t use its website except checking my balance once a month. I received $500 in matching bonus on my two accounts after one year as promised. It’s a pretty good deal.

  6. Jane says

    I recently had a terrible experience with my credit union and an international money transfer. It just happened that that week I needed to transfer money was the week my local credit union banker was on vacation and so I had use the 1-800 service and there were not on top of it. They took a week to figure out what they were doing and every day I called and said it would happen *that* day and of course I called the next day and it hadn’t happened yet. I would never use them for a money transfer again. I used to be a big fan of my CU, but now I am concerned about keeping my chunk of cash their to earn interest because they were so incompetent.

  7. Sam Seattle says

    Your point is convincing, Harry. The many credit unions I belong to have bare-bones website, poor phone customer service.

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