War on Cops got you down? The Millenial Josh Wilson is visiting today to give you the good word on some surprising support in our time of need: Credit Unions!
Credit Unions that Support Police Officers
By Josh Wilson, a Millennial (and author of FamilyFaithFinance.com) working to educate on Millennials on their finances. Josh is a proud supporter of credit unions and community banks.
Since the financial crisis, an increasing number of consumers have been turning to credit unions as their banking alternative and with good reason. Unlike banks, which are focused on profits and increasing shareholder value, credit unions are focused on their members because they are also the owners. Because they are not competing with the interests of shareholders, credit union members enjoy highly personalized service and better savings and borrowing rates.
Most credit unions are organized to support a specific type of membership, such as a company’s or industry’s employees, and some are organized to support a specific segment of the government, such as military personnel and police officers. There is no group of people more deserving of the extra care and attention credit unions offer than our nation’s law enforcement personnel.
Unlike military credit unions, which cater to a nationwide membership, police union credit unions are locally focused, typically by region or metropolitan area. That enables the credit unions to provide more localized products, services and guidance specific to the needs of police officers in those areas. These are some of the top rated credit unions supporting police officers:
#1 Police Federal Credit Union
The Police FCU serves police officers and their extended immediate family members in the Greater Metropolitan Washington Area. In addition to a wide range of banking products and services, Police FCU also offers its members exclusive benefits, including cash back rewards, identity theft protection and health care and travel discounts. Police FCU auto loan and mortgage rates are among the most competitive in the area.
Police FCU offers free basic checking with no minimum balance requirement and no monthly service fees. All checking accounts come with a free check/ATM card issued by VISA® that can be used with an extensive network of surcharge-free ATMs. Accountholders can access their accounts online where they can track their balance in real time, pay bills, deposit checks, and transfer funds. Deposits in the basic checking account currently earn a 0.06% APY
Members who step up to Benefits Plus checking enjoy free checking along with a host of benefits, including:
• Identity theft protection
• Free credit reports
• Up to 33% cash back rewards from national online retailers
• Health care, vision, and prescription discounts
• Hotel and airline discounts
• Entertainment, grocery and dining discounts and coupons
• Roadside assistance
• Pet health insurance
The account also pays a monthly dividend that currently yields 3.0%. Benefit Plus accountholders pay a $4.50 monthly subscription fee.
Police FCU offers a wide range of savings options with competitive rates to fit any savings need. The Share Savings account is the starter with a $5 minimum deposit and a 0.15% APY. For a minimum $250 deposit Money Market accountholders earn 0.25% APY in the first tier ($250 to $4,999) and can earn as high as 0.60% in the top tier ($100,000+). Share certificates of 6- to 60-month durations are available for as little as $500. The top tier earns a 2.25% APY
Police FCU membership is open to law enforcement personnel who live in the Greater Metropolitan Washington Area, including sworn officers and civilian employees. Immediate family members may also apply for membership.
#2 SF Police Credit Union
Membership in the SF Police Credit Union (SFPCU) is open to law enforcement, firefighters and EMTs and their families throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to a comprehensive suite of deposit and loan products, SFPCU also offers a low cost First Responder loan to help first responders purchase the essential equipment they need to do their jobs.
Members are able to open a checking account with just $25. With that, they get unlimited free checking – no minimum balance requirement and no monthly service fees. They also receive a free debit card with free access to more than 30,000 CO-OP Network ATMs. The SFPCU checking account currently earns a 0.10% APY.
SFPCU offers a range of savings options including tiered savings, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit. The Tiered Savings credits a 0.10% APY on balances between $0 and $14,999. The highest tier earns a 0.20% APY on balances of $50,000 or more. The Money Market account starts out with a 0.10% APY on balances up to $49,000 and builds to a 0.35% APY on balances of $150,000 or more. For as little as $500, certificate holders can earn up to 1.61% on 60 month maturities.
SFPCU membership is open to first responders and their immediate family members from nine Bay Area counties. Employees from several medical groups, such as Eden Medical Center, Valley Care Health System and Kindred hospital are also eligible.
#3 Police and Fire Federal Credit Union
The Police and Fire Federal Credit Union (PFFCU) prides itself on the superior service it provides its members, which include police officers, firefighters and their family members. PPFCU claims to have the highest savings rates and the lowest loan rates in the Greater Philadelphia Region and Southern New Jersey area.
Members get completely free checking along with one of the highest APYs around. Checking deposits earn a 1.00% APY on deposits up to $3,000 (0.10% after that). Services include free online banking, remote deposits, and free debit card.
Members must keep a $5 minimum balance in a savings account to maintain eligibility. The Premium Yield account, which requires a $25 minimum deposit, earns a generous 1.10% APY on account balances over $2,500 (0% APY on balances below $2,500). With no minimum balance requirement, the Money Market Plus account earns a 0.25% APY. Share certificates are also very generous, paying 1.150% on 3-month certificates on up to 2.00% on 60-month certificates.
PFFCU membership is open to any active or retired police officer or firefighter the Greater Philadelphia or Southern New Jersey regions along with their family members. Anyone working for a business offering PFFCU membership as a benefit or who belong to an eligible association can also become a member.
Readers: ever had an experience with a Police Credit Union? I was a part of the Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union for a time…it was terrible (but mandatory). Granted it wasn’t nearly as bad as West Marine (which was also terrible…and mandatory), but I am happy to reside under the USAA umbrella. Unfortunately this is only for veterans, so let me know if you’ve tried any of the big three above!