Credit Unions take 4th in Temkin Ratings

Temkin Group (PRNewsFoto/Temkin Group)

Temkin Group (PRNewsFoto/Temkin Group)

The 2015 Temkin Ratings were released – credit unions secure fourth place for the best online experience. USAA takes the top spot for a second consecutive year.

The Temkin Ratings examines 262 companies from twenty different industries, based on a 10,000 consumer input.

Check out the full list of 2015 rankings, here.

About Temkin Group: Temkin Group is widely recognized as a leading customer experience research and consulting firm. Many of the world’s largest brands rely on its insights and advice to steer their transformational journeys. Temkin Group combines customer experience thought leadership with a deep understanding of the dynamics of organizations to help accelerate results. Rather than layering on cosmetic changes, Temkin Group helps companies embed practices within their culture by building four critical competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Employee Engagement, Compelling Brand Values, and Customer Connectedness. The



Northwest Credit Unions help secure $1B for cancer research

By donating to the Credit Unions for Kids program, credit unions in the Northwest can say they helped raise $1 billion for the fight against cancer.

Nike co-founder Phil Knight and Dr. Brian Druker, director of the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Knight Cancer Institute, announced last week that the institute reached its fundraising goal of $500 million, which triggered a $500 million matching donation by Knight and his wife, Penny (Anthem June 25).

Donations from credit unions, totaling $1.4 million, to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital for the challenge helped the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute reach its mark.

“Northwest credit unions are thrilled that OHSU met the Knight Challenge, and are honored to be part of this historic campaign to end cancer as we know it,” said Troy Stang, Northwest Credit Union Association president/CEO (Anthem). “Through our decades-long support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals like Doernbecher, we have long been in the trenches against cancer. This announcement marks a turning point in that war, and we are proud to continue to fight.”

Jim Ervin, executive director of the Doernbecher Foundation, told credit union representatives recently that the Northwest credit union movement was one of the most generous donors to the Knight Challenge.

Druker’s next step is to recruit 250 to 300 scientists to work on a large-scale program to overhaul the work being done on early detection of lethal cancers.

“This gives us the opportunity to bring a team of researchers together and focus them on the issues of early detection of cancer,” said Druker on Good Morning America. “But we want to do this very differently than typical cancer research, which is a lot of individuals working on a small part of the puzzle.

“We want to bring a team of top notch researchers together and focus them as a team on solving the problem. And we think by doing that we can accelerate progress and get to solutions more quickly.”

Credit unions are one of the best workplaces for millennials

young ppl

Credit unions grace FORTUNE’s list of 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials  for the first time ever.

Four credit unions made the list, rubbing shoulders from big time companies such as, Google, Yelp and Twitter! Those credit unions are:

  • Mountain America CU (ranked #47)
  • Grow Financial FCU (ranked #94)
  • Michigan State University FCU (ranked #97)
  • Navy FCU (ranked #93)

All of these credit unions have at least 40% of their workforce in the millennial age group, while MSU FCU is at the top with 63%. (News Now)

Your local credit union personal finance professionals bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your money. To find a local credit union you are eligible to join click here or go to  


QUIZ: How financially capable are you?

Filene research put out a quiz today to test your financial knowledge.

For instance, did you know that women overestimate their financial ability? If you’re a woman, do you agree or identify with that statement?

Take a minute to fill out this short survey! I promise it’s short – it’s no more than 5 questions!

Questions are based on interest, inflation, and risk diversification.

Take the quiz NOW! 

It’s time to see a CU woman on the $10 bill!

10 bill woman

It’s official! A woman will appear on the $10 bill beginning in 2020, confirms the US Treasury Department. As explained in the USA Today article, Move over Hamilton! Treasury to put woman on $10 bill

Jack Lew, Treasury secretary, is seeking public opinion on which historic female figure should receive the honor. “We’re going to spend a lot of time this summer listening to people,” commented Lew. A decision will be made in the fall.

The decision now is which woman should appear on the bill?
And that decision is up to you! Help us spread the word and nominate a CU woman to the $10 bill!

We here at aSmarterChoice believe that that the $10 woman could be either Dora Maxwell, Louise McCarren Herring, or Janet Miller: all pioneers in the credit union movement!


Dora Maxwell: was a early credit union advocate in New York. Dora was at the historic Estes Park conference in CO that established CUNA. CUNA has an award named after her that recognizes outstanding credit unions with social responsibility within their communities. The Dora Maxwell Award is presented every year at CUNA’ GAC Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.

Louise H

Louise McCarren Herring: was an early credit union pioneer in Ohio but is best known as the ‘Mother of Credit Unions.’ Louise was at the Estes Park conference as well. Louise further elevated her credit union advocacy by establishing the private National Deposit Guaranty Corporation, now know as the American Share Insurance. Louise lead the Ohio Credit Union System and KEMBA in Cincinnati. Louise was inducted into the National Cooperative Business Association’s Co-op Hall of Fame in 1983.  CUNA presents an the Louise McCarren Herring Lifetime Achievenemt Award to individuals who have greatly contributed to the advancement of the credit union movement.

Janet Miller: was the first woman to board chair for CUNA and the Colorado Credit Union System. She was AAFCU’s president/CEO prior to becoming CUNA’s chair. Janet even testified before Congress in 1991 about the major differences between credit unions and the banking system, as part of Operation Grassroots. Janet’s testimony contributed to the defeat of proposed Deposit Insurance and Regulatory Reform Act of 1991. Janet also contributed to the creation of Suncorp Corporate CU and the CO CU League Foundation.  Furthermore, Janet was the first honorary chair of the Filene Research Institute.

These credit union women sure have the resume to prove why they deserve to be the new face of the $10 bill.

Now it’s your turn! Let Jack Lew and the Treasury know that they should be elect one of these woman to be the new face of the $10 bill. Nominate one of these outstanding woman by using the hashtag #TheNew10 on Twitter. Please tweet your vote to @USTreasury #TheNew10

So, who will you vote for? Let us know! And let us help the credit union movement, like Dora, Louise, and Janet did!


Credit unions are the best choice for small business loans

nerdwallet_small biz

“That’s a clear indication that credit unions are, from an underwriting perspective, more flexible, fully engaged in the market and willing and able to lend money to small businesses,” says vice president of economics and statistics at CUNA, Mike Schenk.

Since the 2007 and the financial crisis, credit unions have doubled their growth in member business loans while banks have experienced a decline. That’s because credit unions are ‘willing and able to lend money’ to small businesses while banks can’t compete.

3riverss1For instance, 3Rivers Federal Credit Union  in Ft. Wayne, IN, reports an approval rating on small business loans at 46%. This is above the average of 40%, according to Joshua Fern, a commercial lender at 3Rivers. The numbers don’t lie: the difference is credit unions having close relationships with their members.

Another advantage credit unions have over banks with loans is that they can provide ‘lower fees and better rates.’ Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions that don’t report to stockholders. Meaning they can return earnings in the form of superior customer service, lower fees, and better rates – in both deposits and lending!


CEO of Generations Federal Credit Union, Steve Schipull, explains the benefits of having that close relationship between business owner and credit union. “What may sound like a risk to someone from the outside may be a very sound business decision for someone inside the community. Credit union staff are based within the communities we serve,” which helps speed up the loan process.

To learn more about the benefits credit unions offer to small businesses, check out the NerdWallet full article here.

Your local credit union personal finance professionals bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your money. To find a local credit union you are eligible to join click here or go to  

Stop throwing your money away, Credit Unions can help


USA Today advises all to stop paying bank fees and head to your nearest credit union. In the article, Here’s how too many people throw money away, author Chloe Fella Costa examines easy ways people can cut spending and boost their savings.

One of the common ways consumers are throwing away their money, repeatedly, is banking with a bank. Consumers fall victim to endless bank fees. At a credit union, there are little to no fees associated with banking.

“Credit unions typically offer FREE checking accounts and savings accounts with better interest rates.” explains Costa. In addition, credit unions work TOGETHER as a Co-Op and offer more than 30,000 surcharge-FREE ATMs.  Meaning you can withdraw money from your account at any Co-Op ATM without paying a fee! This doesn’t exist for banks, who are in competition with one another.

Other ways consumers let money slip through their hands include:

  • Never using gift cards
  • Allowing Groupons to expire after purchase
  • Buying tickets and not showing up to venue
  • Paying late fees
  • Not returning unwanted goods (e.g., clothes, shoes, etc)
  • Failing to ask for a refund
  • Never disputing mistakes on a bill
  • Forgetting to follow up on a rebate
  • Not claiming money that yours (e.g, from the government)

Your local credit union personal finance professionals bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your money. To find a local credit union you are eligible to join click here or go to  

Seneca Nation of Indians receives a credit union

Seneca CU

After three long years battling to gain a charter, the Seneca Nation of Indians will finally be able to have their own credit union beginning in August.

Stephen Scott, is the deputy director for planning and development for the New York tribe, and has been the leader/liaison for this initiative. Scott believes there is a natural connection between credit unions and the tribe based on both of their cooperative natures. “Their motto is people helping people, and that’s what tribal nations do — they help each other,” commented Scott.

Not only does this open credit and borrowing services to the tribal members, in which most are unbanked and don’t have access to credit, but also opens the door to employment opportunities. “We want to make sure we employ Seneca people who qualify,” explained Scott.

Products and services that will be offered initially include: shared accounts, checking, secured and unsecured loans, new and used car loans, debit cards, money orders and bill payments.

Scott already has dreams and aspirations of expanding the services the credit union offers.

Scott is beginning to become known as the Johnny Appleseed for credit unions owned by American Indians. This is the second credit union Scott has founded.

For more information, The Johnny Appleseed Approach to Seed More Native Credit Unions

Your local credit union personal finance professionals bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your money. To find a local credit union you are eligible to join click here or go to 

Fun Frugal Things to Do!


Want to live a frugal life but don’t know how? Or don’t think it won’t be as fun? Think again! Phroogal’s Will Lipovsky suggests 18 fun activities that just happen to be frugal.

Frugal Activities:

  • DIY Pedicures and Manicures
  • Cooking
  • Biking
  • Hiking/Walking
  • Working on Your Car
  • Helping others
  • Taking on another job for enjoyment
  • Creating Art
  • Be a designer
  • At-home exercise
  • House hunting
  • Geocaching
  • Gardening
  • Hunting/fishing
  • Visit a farmer’s market
  • Research your family history
  • Garage sales
  • Visit museums or local/national parks
  • Volunteer

Your local credit union personal finance professionals bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your money. To find a local credit union you are eligible to join click here or go to 

What sets credit unions apart from banks


The Motley Fool examines what the major differences are between credit unions and banks.  Despite being very similar in the products they offer (e.g., take deposits and make loans) the structure of both financial institutions are worlds apart.

  • Ownership: Banks are co-operations, governed by greedy shareholders. Their board of directors are PAID individuals whose voting rights are determined by the number and type of shares invested. Credit unions on the other hand, are democratically governed with a volunteer board of directors. Elections are based on a 1-member 1-vote structure.
  • Profits: The objectives of banks and credit unions are on the opposite spectrum, reflective of how profits are handled and distributed. Banks are a FOR PROFIT financial institution that in the business to make money off of their customers. Credit Unions are NOT for profit financial institutions, that return profits to members and local community. Credit unions return earnings to members by offering FREE ATMs, better rates and lower fees.
  • Size and reach: Credit unions operate on a local level thus, are much smaller compared to national big banks.
  • Regulation: Credit unions are insured by the NCUA up to $250,000. While banks are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000.

In the end, it’s up to you make the smarter choice when it comes to your money. Credit unions tend to have a better reputation than banks when it comes to customer service, better rates, and lower fees. If you would like to learn more about credit unions, please visit aSmarterChoice

Your local credit union personal finance professionals bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your money. To find a local credit union you are eligible to join click here or go to