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AARP, Consumer Reports: Time to check out CUs

NEW YORK (6/7/10)--Credit unions are the place to go if you want to move your money, AARP Magazine tells its 47 million readers in its July/August issue. The sentiments are echoed in the July issue of Consumer Reports.

In "The Little Banks That Can," AARP cites "three compelling reasons" to switch: lower fees, higher interest rates on deposits and better service. "As it turns out, you are likely to find all three at some of the smallest financial institutions in the nation: credit unions," says the two-page article.

The article references data from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) about how much consumers save using a credit union rather than a bank. It also cites CUNA's online credit union locator at creditunion.coop and CU Infosight's findacreditunion.com.

It provides several favorable quotes and anecdotes about credit unions. "The average consumer does much better at a credit union than a bank," said Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director at U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Curtis Arnold, founder of CardRatings.com, a credit card information website, said, "I'm a big fan [of credit unions]. Unlike a lot of banks, most credit unions don't try to cross-sell you products you don't really want."

The article also addresses the credit unions' interest in raising the member business lending cap, discusses credit unions' "can-do attitude," and suggests checking for CO-OP Network membership to access surcharge-free ATMs.

In Consumer Reports' July issue, "When to Bail on Your Bank" discusses the "Move Your Money" campaign to get consumers to switch from big banks to smaller institutions, including credit unions.

While big banks may have better online banking, "there are great deals at local banks and especially at credit unions," said the article. It cites the benefits of better card rates, higher yields on savings and low rate loans, and it links to both creditunion.coop and findacreditunion.com.

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