MADISON, Wis. (11/14/08)--The Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL) has compiled its Top Ten Tips for how members can get through tough economic times, especially with the holidays on the horizon (easier.com
Nov. 13). Credit unions in the U.S. can adapt ABCUL’s suggestions and promote to their members:
* Flexible savings products--Credit unions offer a range of flexible and accessible savings accounts. Members can save according to their needs. Tell members that even saving a small amount each week will add significant savings; * Lower loan costs--If members need to borrow money, credit unions have some of the best deals available. Early repayment of a loan from a credit union results in no penalties. Borrowers pay interest only for the amount of time they are in possession of the loan money; * Debit cards--Members can use them with merchants and to withdraw cash from ATMs. Users can set up direct debit payments with utility bills, for example, to save money; * Rewards cards--Many credit unions offer rewards cards that add value each time they are used; * Christmas savings clubs--This is a safe way to save for the holiday season; * Mortgages--With access to mortgages from banks getting harder to obtain, credit unions are in a good position to offer their competitively priced mortgages; * Life insurance--When members take out a credit union product, this is built in at no extra cost, meaning loans are written off if there is a member death. This may vary in the U.S.; * Money management advice--Members should be made aware that many credit unions offer free advice and useful information on managing finances; * Deposit guarantee--Member deposits are issued up to $250,000 through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund; and * Local ownership--Credit unions are owned by members, not stockholders.