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January 07, 2006


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I can't agree more that credit unions are worth looking into. I saved a percentage point or two over the prevailing variable rates for a 5 year fixed home equity loan. It the variable HELOC I'm paying off by 2.3% (this month, the HELOC keeps going up).

I try to keep a small amount (~$40) on me at all times for the true emergencies. Otherwise, I use the credit card (paying it off each month, of course). When I dip below $20, I consider that "being broke" and make a point to withdraw money the next time I can do so for free.

DITTO about the credit union!
I love my credit union. I paid $25 to join. The $25 is in my savings account but is unavailable. They provide 1 box of duplicate checks monthly. There are no fees for debit card purchases, checks, or maint fees. They have free online bill pay. The call center is local (not India!) and they have great customer service.
They are also helping me build my credit history. I have a secured loan (they only charge 1.5% above savings %), a credit card with a $500 limit and an APR of 10.9%, a $300 credit line that reports has revolving credit, and $700 ODP. I have never used ODP but it's nice to have.
One time I had an overdraft from my savings account. It was a $6 paypal purchase that was defaulted to my bank account and I did not pay attention. They removed the fee.

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