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  1. #1
    Not now, I'm kinda busy. pdxi's Avatar
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    Business checking account with a credit union?

    Hello!

    I'm looking for credit unions in my area that offer business checking. I'm having a hard time in my search, and I'm starting to wonder if credit unions generally don't offer business accounts.

    Does anyone know more about this? Does anyone here have a business (not personal) checking account with a local CU?

    I'm trying to match up my business practices with my personal philosophies (supporting small, local businesses, etc.) and doing my business banking with a credit union would help me rest a little easier.

    Any help will be appreciated. Thanks!
    Jeff
    Jeffrey Hunt, freelance PHP & MySQL developer
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  2. #2
    A Smarter Way to Web! zivo's Avatar
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    Question CU or local bank?

    Just curious... are you looking for specifically a credit union, or a bank with which you would have a personal relationship with? I ask as I bank with a relatively large bank, but know just about everyone in the branch.

    mp/m

  3. #3
    Not now, I'm kinda busy. pdxi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zivo
    Just curious... are you looking for specifically a credit union, or a bank with which you would have a personal relationship with? I ask as I bank with a relatively large bank, but know just about everyone in the branch.

    mp/m
    I'm looking for a credit union, specifically. I'm a big advocate of cooperative ownership and management, so credit unions are very appealing to me.
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    Have you called the credit unions in your area to see what their requirements are? I know some credit unions in my hometown did business accounts while other ones did not.

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    A Smarter Way to Web! zivo's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Requirements

    By definition, credit unions have membership requirements. However, in the past years, many have opened up their requirements to larger audiences, and to their communities.

    A simple phone call or check of their Web site can surely give you that information.

    And I agree with your approach - not only could a CU meet your goals of supporting your business, but it could also help you get exposure to the community as well!

    mp/m

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard LiquidReflex's Avatar
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    I think whether or not a Credit Union offers a Business account is going to vary from place to place. Each Credit Union's board will determine which services to offer to their members. Some may not have the membership to support such an offering while another may.

    I don't personally have a business checking account yet with one (researching it at my Credit Union) but they do offer it.

    I have the same feeling you do when it comes to a Credit Union versus the banks. I refuse to do business with Wells Fargo or any of the big banks ... I had an account with them once and had nothing but problems. I always have had an account at the Postal Credit Union since my dad was a postman and had an account for me. He has also been on the Board of Directors for quite a while now as the Treasurer, so it is nice being able to discuss options with him when I need some advice. I have been doing all of my personal banking through them (checking, savings, home loan, car loan ... and perhaps business checking when I'm ready).

    I'm not sure if it's just your area, but they do offer them. You just need to find one around that offers it. Hope you can find one!
    Last edited by LiquidReflex; Jul 24, 2006 at 08:07. Reason: helps if you use the right link code
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  7. #7
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    I have one of my business checking accounts with a local credit union and another with a regular bank.

    I'll hold off from blabbering until I know if you have other questions about it.



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  8. #8
    Not now, I'm kinda busy. pdxi's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the help and suggestions. I'm going to intensify my search and see what I can can find. I want to open a business checking account soon (in order to make record keeping a lot easier) and I don't want to give any more business to my current, erratically-behaving bank.
    Jeffrey Hunt, freelance PHP & MySQL developer
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  9. #9
    Visit docquesting.com docquesting's Avatar
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    I have heard bad things about them. My suggestion is go with a smaller local bank or regional one.

  10. #10
    Not now, I'm kinda busy. pdxi's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm not terribly pleased with them, either. I've been banking with them forever but I can't say that I'm anything near satisfied.

    I'll be moving to a credit union soon, though.
    Jeffrey Hunt, freelance PHP & MySQL developer
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  11. #11
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Hi - I hope this isn't an idiotic question, but what is better about using a credit union as opposed to a large bank? Besides the fact that they are generally smaller, is there any specific information that suggests they have better business practices, etc?
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  12. #12
    Not now, I'm kinda busy. pdxi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing
    Hi - I hope this isn't an idiotic question, but what is better about using a credit union as opposed to a large bank? Besides the fact that they are generally smaller, is there any specific information that suggests they have better business practices, etc?
    First, credit unions typically offer a better interest rate for savings accounts and also often charge less interest for loans.

    For me, however, it has more to do with values. I prefer to support co-ops as much as possible. If I wasn't self-employed, I would probably help form a consulting cooperative. It's one of the fairest business models available in the United States today.

    Consumer and commercial banks, as well as credit unions, are all businesses, and businesses strive to increase the wealth of their shareholders. With a credit union, its customers are the shareholders. I want to bank with an institution that truly values its customers and doesn't treat them like money-spewing sheep.

    Yeah, sorry for that awkward analogy
    Jeffrey Hunt, freelance PHP & MySQL developer
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  13. #13
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    I see your point, but I also think it has to be reviewed on a case by case basis. After all, Microsoft's success has resulted in the largest philantrophic effort in human history. Intel is repsonsible for creating more overseas jobs for previously impovershed people in the developing world than any other single entity.

    Co-ops are a special thing, but it's interesting how so many small businesses get support as a small business but are actually struggling to grow as quickly as possible. People like the mom 'n pop coffee shop more than Starbucks because it's mom 'n pop, but they forget that mon 'n pop is trying to become Starbucks.

    I really appreciate that you are being mindful of how you use your money, though. It's amazing how much of an impact you can make (i.e. by never shopping at Walmart, etc.). So, great job
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdxi
    First, credit unions typically offer a better interest rate for savings accounts and also often charge less interest for loans.
    In my experience, the credit unions in my area offer lower rates for savings accounts and charge comparable rates on loans.

  15. #15
    Not now, I'm kinda busy. pdxi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing
    I see your point, but I also think it has to be reviewed on a case by case basis. After all, Microsoft's success has resulted in the largest philantrophic effort in human history. Intel is repsonsible for creating more overseas jobs for previously impovershed people in the developing world than any other single entity.
    Sure, I understand. I'm going to stay away from a discussion about capitalism and economics (mosty because I'm not educated well enough about either ), but for every Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-type success story, there's 100,000 Jeff Skilling & Ken Lay-type stories.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing
    Co-ops are a special thing, but it's interesting how so many small businesses get support as a small business but are actually struggling to grow as quickly as possible. People like the mom 'n pop coffee shop more than Starbucks because it's mom 'n pop, but they forget that mon 'n pop is trying to become Starbucks.
    I understand this, too. Right now in my life, I'm working to sustain myself while also learning as much as I can. It's fairly easy to do this while also doing consulting and freelance work (versus having an office job) because I can support myself as needed without excess. I'd rather live modestly and explore my world than to stack buckets of cash on my mantle and worry myself to death.

    ... Not that "everyone else" does, but I'm exaggerating a little to make my point.

    There are several wonderful cooperatives in my town, and very close to my house, even. There's the Citybikes Workers' Cooperative, who provide affordable bikes, parts, and services to our community and also participates in advocacy of cycling and sustainable living. Their used parts room is like heaven to me, too For eating out, there's the Red and Black Cafe, which offers a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan meals and snacks, and who also freely distribute informational literature and provide space for community events and performances. Finally, there's the People's Coop, which was one of the first grocery cooperatives on the West Coast that continues to sell healthy and satisfying foods to the community. They also accept Oregon's version of Food Stamps ("Oregon Trail Card"), which allows them to sell healthy foods to people on limited budgets who might not have these options at Safeway, etc.

    Done right, the cooperative model, and even the "Mindful Capitalist" model will work. Getting back to the topic of banking, though, I'm sick and tired of banking with an institution that takes every opportunity to wring money out of me so it can be forked over to their wealthy shareholders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing
    I really appreciate that you are being mindful of how you use your money, though. It's amazing how much of an impact you can make (i.e. by never shopping at Walmart, etc.). So, great job
    Thanks - I really appreciate what you've written. I think everyone should consider exactly how their dollars are "put to work", especially when the people we're giving money to are slowly destroying our communities. I prefer to focus on building a healthy community, which is an option that everyone has in their life.
    Jeffrey Hunt, freelance PHP & MySQL developer
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  16. #16
    Not now, I'm kinda busy. pdxi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lil_Red
    In my experience, the credit unions in my area offer lower rates for savings accounts and charge comparable rates on loans.
    These things depend entirely on the financial health of the credit union. I'm curious to know, though, if this is affected by region. It could very well be... I just know that a few credit unions in the Portland area offer slightly better interest on savings than WF, WaMu, USBank, and BofA.
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  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard LiquidReflex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdxi
    These things depend entirely on the financial health of the credit union. I'm curious to know, though, if this is affected by region. It could very well be... I just know that a few credit unions in the Portland area offer slightly better interest on savings than WF, WaMu, USBank, and BofA.
    I believe they do ... at least from what I gather. In my discussions with my dad, they hold their board meetings and discuss their financial standings, what they need to improve on, how to gain more members and (of course) what the rates should be at. So, if they are doing well (or not well, depending on how you want to look at it) they may make their rates lower than the surrounding banks to draw in business.

    I prefer the Credit Union for basically that same principal, they're smaller and thus cater to you more. Wells Fargo is global and all about the sales. My mom worked as a teller there for a little while (since the bank she worked at was bought out by Wells Fargo ). She told me how their training was to always ask the customer if they wanted something new ... if they had a regular checking, ask if they wanted premier checking, if they were making a deposit, ask if they would like to set up a CD ... it was all about the up-sell. If tellers weren't bugging every customer, they were told they needed to increase their queries. How is nagging them every visit catering to your customers? And don't get me started on their procedure practices ...

    Besides providing good rates I believe it's all about how you're treated. I am treated like a valued customer with my Credit Union, not another account at the Big Bank.

    I hope you can find one in your area that you can sign up with. I think it's a benefit, but I'm sure there are 2 sides to every tale. There must be many satisfied customers with Wells Fargo and other banks ... I'm just not one of them.
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  18. #18
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Actually, I found the credit union that was part of my co-op (one of the oldest in the country) was much more receptive than local banks when I wanted to open a DBA account. In fact, they never even required a business license. My best recommendation is to check into the local banking regs in your state. It could be that the credit unions in your area might not be allowed to handle a business account.


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