Move Your Money

Do you have your money at a big bank? Move it!

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  1. #1 by Sarah on January 28, 2010 - 2:55 am

    My money is in a credit union. Right now, it’s in a california only credit union which has been interesting now that I live in Oregon.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Last Post. =-.

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    • #2 by Ren on January 28, 2010 - 11:50 am

      Sarah – That does sound… interesting. I presume you’ll eventually join a local credit union, so all is well there.

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  2. #3 by Finn on January 28, 2010 - 9:57 am

    I so want to move my money. As it is, only my mortgage is with a large bank. Car loans and other loans come from a credit union.

    The problem is that we have a brokerage account and most of our money is tied up in mutual funds. It’s not advisable for us to move it all.

    And there is the not-so-small matter of online bill pay. This is huge for me as I do not have a lot of time to futz around with bills, etc. I can manage my account online when I have time.

    I think that’s what going to put a crimp in this movement… convenience.
    .-= Finn´s last blog ..Diptych Four: Green =-.

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    • #4 by Ren on January 28, 2010 - 11:58 am

      Finn – I don’t think it particularly matters where your mortgage is — those get sold around anyway, so you typically have no control. The exception to that is that it can be bad to have any money at the same institution where you have a loan because they typically include into the loan contract that they can simply take your money from any other account to pay the loan if you are late. This can wreak havoc should you run into economic adversity.

      I think the brokerage accounts are probably an exception. It’s been my impression that the large banks don’t try to rip you off as much there, unless you count the poor investment products they often try to sell.

      I’m not sure about the situation with online bill pay, but I think most credit unions offer that. This is where I confess that I moved from a credit union to a largish bank a few years ago, chasing interest. It’s a bit of an odd situation because it is a regional bank that was acquired by a national bank that previously had no branches. So its kind of a hybrid between a regional bank and a huge bank. But I’ve had no issues with it, no fees to pay, free ATMs, free bill pay, good interest, etc.

      As for convenience, my parents bank with a bank that has no branches, but they allow online check deposit (even from iPhones), free ATMs, free bill pay, etc. In many ways, it’s more convenient than a traditional bank. The only reason I don’t bank there is the good interest deal I’ve gotten.

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  3. #5 by martymankins on January 28, 2010 - 1:50 pm

    I have 2 financial institutions I use: a bank and a credit union.

    My bank is Wells Fargo and I’ve been with them for well over 20 years (before Wells Fargo, it was a First Security and before that it was First Interstate). In the time I’ve been with them, they have never once done me wrong. Any customer service issues, they have always been good with. And I get free bill pay, free ATM use and a nice overdraft. Their interest paid is very dismal, but what bank isn’t?

    The credit union I use is America First, local to Utah (they also have a Mesquite, NV brand, too). I use them for mostly savings, since they pay more interest. But the reason I use both is that they both process credit and debits differently. WF waits until the end of the banking day for non-cash deposits to be available, where as America First makes the funds available at the time of the deposit. WF works with international payments better than the credit union (30 day hold for some checks).
    .-= martymankins´s last blog ..Fictionally Speaking =-.

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    • #6 by Ren on January 28, 2010 - 3:14 pm

      martymankins – I think this issue — “I’ve never had a problem” — is a much bigger impediment to the “Move Your Money” goal than the convenience issue. And I don’t have much of an answer for it. Also, I’m sure people have had problems with small banks and credit unions as well.

      My main interest in avoiding the really large banks is simply the excess risk such large banks create for our financial system as a whole. When smaller banks have trouble, the FDIC seizes their assets, the shareholders are basically wiped out, and the assets (and debts) are assigned to a healthier bank. However, when one of the huge banks is struggling this doesn’t happen. It’s considered too damaging and so the taxpayers are forced to bail out the bank.

      Ideally, we would have legislation (such as the President recently started supporting, better late than never) that would put a cap on the size of banks. I’m not optimistic that this will happen, so the best alternative is for as many people as possible to abandon the huge banks.

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      • #7 by martymankins on January 29, 2010 - 9:28 pm

        You make a good point about supporting smaller banks. Most of the time, the smaller local banks are a good option for keeping your money, but one advantage to a national bank is having access to your money in multiple states. Like when I’m in Calif, I can go to any Wells Fargo branch and have access or to an ATM and know there is no issue is getting cash out. Although the ATM network nationwide, you can always have access to cash, in the last 10 years or so, I’ve had issues getting cash and have had to use a credit card at a local bank, which incurs interest and extra fees.

        I guess if you traveled a fair amount, it would nice to keep maybe some money in a larger bank, transferring before your trip from your local bank where most of your money is held.

        The bailout, which I am against, is difficult when a large bank runs into trouble. I think if most of the people would be smarter about how they get credit and loans and what not, it would be less burden some on the bank – regardless of size or location.

        One thing I did like about Wells Fargo over other banks like Chase (who I despise for many reasons) is that they limited how much bailout money they took. They were pretty stable before and continue to remain stable, for the most part.
        .-= martymankins´s last blog ..Fictionally Speaking =-.

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      • #8 by Ren on January 29, 2010 - 10:35 pm

        martymankins – For whatever reason, I’ve never had trouble with an ATM, even internationally. And Marci travels quite a bit, both domestically and internationally, and often uses ATMs wherever she goes.

        I just read an article that the TARP is actually now projected to be profitable rather than a cost. It isn’t there yet, and there’s talk of more spending, so there’s no telling how it will end up, but it’s interesting.

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