Wisconsin Credit Union League: Big savings – $1 billion since 2007 in WI – attracts more consumers to credit unions

Governor’s Proclamation during Financial Literacy Month cites credit unions’ commitment to financial education

Pewaukee, Wis. – Consumers across Wisconsin visited aSmarterChoice.org last year to find a credit union they can use for their banking. Almost 90,000 people became credit union members in 2012 and started reaping the huge savings credit unions offer on every day financial services – totaling more than $1 billion in Wisconsin alone since the start of the recent recession in 2007. For example, consumers who use a credit union can:

* Still receive free checking. The great majority of credit unions report that this remains true for their checking-related services. Plus, credit unions’ average returned check fee is less than banks.

* Save $110 per year per household because of more competitive pricing on financial services overall. Those who use a credit union extensively receive total financial benefits much greater than this.

* Save $1,150 in interest to finance a new car compared to using a bank. This is based on a $25,000 vehicle with funds borrowed for five years, with a savings of $230 per year in interest.

* Receive an interest rate that’s almost a percent lower than banks for a typical “gold” credit card. Credit unions’ late payment fee on a credit card is about $10 less than what banks charge.

* Access 30,000 ATMs – the largest ATM network in the country – at no cost. Consumers with participating credit unions can find free ATMs that are part of credit unions’ CO-OP Network by going online or using their smart phones.

* Make transactions at 5,066 branches – the nation’s fourth largest branch network – called CU Service Centers. This convenience is almost unrivaled by other financial institutions. Whether making a loan payment or withdrawing or depositing cash or checks, consumers can visit any physical location in the CU Service Center network and use it as if it were their own.

“Because credit unions have no outside investors, they return their earnings to the 2.4 million Wisconsinites who use them through higher rates on savings deposits, lower rates on loans and lower and fewer fees,” said Brett Thompson, President & CEO of The Wisconsin Credit Union League. “That is in addition to credit unions’ community support and free financial education highlighted in a Governor’s Proclamation recognizing April as Financial Literacy Month.”

Learn more about the value credit unions deliver at http://www.theleague.coop/scorecard and http://www.theleague.coop/forareason.