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Take Control of Your Finances by Banking Locally

August 13, 2015 - Kelsey Sheehy, NerdWallet

Big banks can feel impersonal and intimidating, with powerful executives who answer to shareholders, not customers.

Credit unions, by contrast, have built a reputation as member- and community-focused financial institutions.

That impression is driven by a number of factors, including lower fees, competitive interest rates, helpful staff and straightforward accounts. On all of those fronts, credit unions rate higher than large national banks, according to an annual report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Those qualities don’t just make people happy with their credit unions; the low costs and responsive services these institutions may provide can also empower consumers to take control of their finances. Here’s how:

  • Lower fees for the same services can mean more of your money stays where it belongs: with you. Many credit unions will even reimburse ATM fees charged to you by other service providers.
  • When it comes to lending, credit unions typically charge less, according to statistics from the National Credit Union Administration. For example, the average rate on new and used auto loans at credit unions is almost half what banks charge. Higher returns on checking and savings balances add to your resources by giving you more money to work with. Although the impact may be minimal now, with interest rates near historic lows, the earnings could increase as the economy improves and rates rise.
  • Credit unions tend to be smaller, so you can build relationships with the people who work there. Those employees can grow to know you, your family and your financial needs, and help you make decisions that take all of those into consideration.

Banking locally has other benefits, too:

  • Credit unions are invested in the neighborhoods and members they serve. A credit union’s business depends on the financial health of its members, who also own the institution, so the managers want their members and the community to thrive. As a result, they may be more willing to work with borrowers who fall on hard times by deferring a loan payment or refinancing a mortgage to reduce monthly payments.
  • Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations, so their aim isn’t to maximize profit from every transaction. As a result, they’re more likely to recommend products and services that best fit your needs, rather than those that deliver the most revenue.
  • Small businesses often rely on local financial institutions for loans and other services. Credit unions are more likely than large banks to approve small business loans , according to a Harvard Business School report in 2014. It shows these cooperatives approved 51% of small business loan applications they received from 2011 and 2013. Big banks approved just 17% during that timeframe, according to the report.

This monetary support can help companies grow, hire new employees and, in turn, contribute to the health of the local economy.

Fort Knox Federal Opens New Branch in Shepherdsville Walmart

March 25, 2015

Fort Knox Federal Credit Union opened a second Louisville area branch on March 25th. The new branch is located inside Walmart at 545 Conestoga Parkway in Shepherdsville.

The Shepherdsville Branch is full-service and offers valuable savings and loan products along with mortgage and loan processing, free ATM services , and in-branch teller service along with the latest in technology including online and mobile banking .

This new facility is Fort Knox Federal’s second branch located inside a Walmart and is a part of the Credit Union’s continuing growth. Now, with more than $1.1 billion in assets, Fort Knox Federal serves approximately 80,000 members worldwide and currently operates 15 branches throughout central Kentucky. In January of 2013, Fort Knox Federal opened its first Jefferson County branch at 9915 Dixie Highway near the Meijer’s Shopping Complex.

GOBankingRates Reports 7 Best Auto Loan Rates Available in Louisville

Published March 12, 2014 by

Car prices are rising, yet auto loan rates remain low, at least for the moment; in order to get behind the wheel, American borrowers are taking out larger loans today than ever before.

To help car buyers take advantage of the lowest auto loan rates today from local banks and credit unions, released a list of the best rates in Louisville.

"Although rates on some loans, like mortgages, are increasing, auto loan rates are still relatively low and affordable,” said Amanda Garcia, reporter for GOBankingRates. “GOBankingRates consistently finds auto loan rates below 3% at many community banks and credit unions, such as Fort Knox Federal Credit Union’s current 1.99% APR rate.”

To provide borrowers benchmarks for comparison shopping, GOBankingRates also surveyed the average on the city, state and national levels.

Average New Auto Loan Rates:

Louisville Kentucky National
3-Year Auto Loan 3.04% APR 3.11% APR 3.26% APR
4-Year Auto Loan 2.98% APR 3.01% APR 4.01% APR

7 Lowest Auto Loan Rates in Louisville

Fort Knox Federal Credit Union is notable for offering the lowest auto loan rate in Louisville, along with an additional 0.25% rate discount if the vehicle’s loan-to-value ratio is 60 percent. (The listed 1.99% rate applies to terms up to 66 months and requires either an 80 percent loan-to-value or a direct deposit of the net pay.)

  • No. 1 - Fort Knox Federal Credit Union’s 3- and 4-Year Auto Loans: 1.99% APR*
  • No. 2 - PNC Bank’s 3-Year Auto Loan: 2.34% APR
  • No. 3 - BB&T’s 3-Year Auto Loan: 2.39% APR
  • No. 4 - Park Community Federal Credit Union’s 4-Year Auto Loan: 2.49% APR
  • No. 5 - US Bank’s 3-Year Auto Loan: 2.50% APR
  • No. 6 - Chase Bank’s 4-Year Auto Loan: 2.93% APR
  • No. 7 - Fifth Third Bank’s 4-Year Auto Loan: 3.08% APR

*A rate of 1.74% APR is available to borrowers with a Loan-to-Value ratio of 60%.

About This Study

This study surveyed base auto loan rates for three- and four-year terms from banks and credit unions located in Louisville and surrounding Jefferson County as of March 3, 2014. Data was compiled from the GOBankingRates interest rate database, which in partnership with Informa Research Services Inc., aggregates banking and interest rate information belonging to more than 6,000 U.S. banks and credit unions. Rates listed above do not consider short-term, promotional offers or relationship discounts.

Please note that interest rates are subject to change at any time at the discretion of individual banks and credit unions. Other terms and conditions could apply. Although the information has been obtained from the various financial institutions, Informa Research Services cannot guarantee the accuracy.

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VISA Cardholder Services Phone Number Change

November 14, 2013

Starting November 14th, your VISA Credit Cardholder Service phone number has changed. The new number is (866) 820-6781 and can be used to obtain balance information. Other VISA phone numbers have remained the same and can be found on our VISA website page .

Fort Knox Federal Opens New Branch in Bardstown Walmart

November 18, 2013

Fort Knox Federal Credit Union opened a second Bardstown branch located inside Walmart, 3795 East John Rowan Blvd., on November 18.

“The Wal-Mart location is an added convenience for our many members in Bardstown, Springfield and the surrounding area,” said Bill Rissel, President and CEO of Fort Knox Federal. “We are very pleased to work with Walmart and have a location in this popular retail outlet,” he added.

The Credit Union opened a new, free-standing office in Bardstown in June 2012 replacing its Kroger Shopping Center branch.

Fort Knox Federal membership is open to anyone who lives, works, or worships in Nelson and surrounding counties. The new Bardstown Branch offers full-service including mortgage and loan processing, free ATM services , and in-branch teller service along with the latest in technology including online and mobile banking . “Our new branch will accommodate members however they prefer service,” Rissel added.

This new facility is our second branch in Bardstown and is a part of Fort Knox Federal’s continuing growth. Now with more than $1 billion in assets, Fort Knox Federal serves approximately 80,000 members worldwide and currently operates 14 branches throughout central Kentucky. In January this year, Fort Knox Federal opened its first Jefferson County branch at 9915 Dixie Highway near the Meijer’s Shopping Complex. The Credit Union also opened new branches recently in Hodgenville, Brandenburg and Danville.

Dump Your Big Bank and Save

Published September 2013 by

Consumer Reports magazine recently published an article featuring the advances in technology by most Credit Unions which now rival national banks.  Given the high fees often charged by the big banks, the article suggests it’s time to switch to a Credit Union. Below is an excerpt from the article, check out the full article here.

"Remember Bank Transfer Day, two years ago this month? That’s when mad consumers were supposed to bring giant banks such as Bank of America, Chase, and Citibank to their knees by moving their money to nonprofit credit unions.

It was a bust. Few people switched, in part because of the grip big banks had on them with their alluring online and mobile-banking services. Those let you use your computer and smart phone to watch balances, find ATMs, make account transfers, pay bills, and even deposit checks.

Now the top 10 credit unions have caught up, and many smaller ones have added, or are working to add, smart-phone banking, says Mary Monahan, an executive at Javelin Strategy & Research, a California market research firm. And new competitors have entered the fight for your dollars.

So if you’re still sick and tired of your megabank’s sneaky fees, questionable investment tactics, and slippery mortgage-lending practices, now may be the time for you to stage your own Bank Transfer Day. Here’s the lowdown on alternatives worth considering.

Credit unions

Why? They offer all of the services of a bank (and federal deposit insurance) but tend to charge considerably less for checking accounts and loans. And they generally pay higher interest rates on savings.

Why not? The customer-satisfaction rating for credit unions dropped five points last year, to 82, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which tracks 48 industries. Nevertheless, they still outscored Chase (74), Citibank (70), and Bank of America (66).

Where to find them. Membership is open only to people in a specific group, such as employees of a company, members of an association, or residents of certain communities. Go to to find prospects near you."

Fort Knox Federal has recently added many Online Solutions to allow you access from anywhere at anytime. If you are interested in switching your checking account over to Fort Knox Federal, click here .

Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Receives 2013 Best of Bardstown Award

June 10, 2013

BARDSTOWN -- Fort Knox Federal Credit Union has been selected for the 2013 Best of Bardstown Award in the Credit Unions category by the Bardstown Award Program.

Each year, the Bardstown Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Bardstown area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2013 Bardstown Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Bardstown Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Bardstown Award Program

The Bardstown Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Bardstown area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Bardstown Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Bardstown Award Program

PRP/Valley Station Area Business Association Presentation

February 6, 2013

PRP/Valley Station Area Business Associations presented a framed photo collage to Angie Keeling (left), Valley Station Branch Manager; Michael Richardson, Commercial Loan Officer; Michael Bateman, Vice President of Marketing; and, Charlotte Masterson, Business Development Representative.  The pictures were taken at the new Valley Station Branch ribbon cutting and groundbreaking ceremonies.

Award Winning Volunteers

Louise Herring Award

Fort Knox Federal's Board of Directors Chairman, Howard Williams, accepted the Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award.

Dora Maxwell Award

Howard Williams, Board of Directors Chairman, accepted the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Member Service Award.


Steve Brody Award

Fort Knox Federal's Board of Directors Secretary, Rosemary Deaton, accepted the Steve Brody Outstanding Volunteer Award.

William Mapother Award

Janet and Dennis Pike accepted the William Mapother Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of CSM Leo C. Pike, Jr.

Fort Knox Federal Named Army Credit Union of the Year

August 21, 2012

Fort Knox Federal Credit Union was awarded the Department of the Army’s 2011 Distinguished Service Award for Credit Unions during the Defense Credit Union Council Annual Conference held in Denver, Colorado on August 20.  

Fort Knox Federal received this honor in recognition of its many, varied and ongoing support activities extended to the Soldiers, civilian employees, veterans, retirees and their families who serve or are affilated with the Fort Knox military post.  Fort Knox Federal was selected from all on-post credit unions in the nation.

Since 1950, Fort Knox Federal has served the post and surrounding communities providing low cost financial services with a special appreciation for the unique circumstances faced by many military families.  Specifically during 2011, Fort Knox Federal supported the mission of Fort Knox by improving special services to members; expanding its role in support of the post command and communities, and substantially increasing its involvement and collaboration with key partners both on and off post.  

“We could not have achieved this recognition without the hard work and dedication of the entire (Credit Union) staff and, specifically, those member service staff on post and in surrounding branches,” said Bill Rissel, Fort Knox Federal President and CEO.  Board of Directors Chairman Howard A. Williams accepted the award on behalf of Fort Knox Federal.

“The commitment of Fort Knox FCU to provide quality products and efficient service to Soldiers, DoD employees and their family members is outstanding.  Selection for this award is an indication of the excellent working partnership that exists between you, the Credit Union Liaison Officer and the credit union staff.  Results of this relationship are also evident in the financial products and timely delivery of financial services to the Fort Knox community,” said James J. Watkins, Director of the U.S. Army Accountability and Audit Readiness Department, when announcing the award to the post command.

Fort Knox Federal also dedicated a full-time seasoned employee to assist hundreds of newcomers, mostly  inbound Soldiers and their families, coming to Ft. Knox at no cost or obligation.  Relocation Specialist/Liaison Officer, Charlotte Masterson, also provided support to groups such as Family Readiness, Duke Association, Wounded Warriors Transition Unit and Financial Readiness Program.  Fort Knox Federal provided a wide range of services from housing referrals to arts and recreation suggestions to transportation and lodging information to family financial management workshops, all free of charge.

In 2011, Fort Knox Federal sponsored a platoon deployed to Afghanistan.  The troops of Recon Platoon, A Company, Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division received many care packages and shared supportive messages between the unit members and the Credit Union staff.

Sixty-two years ago, Fort Knox Federal was established by 10 civilian employees at Fort Knox and now serves nearly 80,000 members and operates 14 conveniently located branches in Bardstown, Brandenburg, Campbellsville, Danville, Elizabethtown,  Fort Knox, Hodgenville, Leitchfield and Radcliff; and, just announced construction of new branch in Valley Station in Jefferson County.

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