Update 10/25/2011: It’s important to OPEN your credit union account first, then close your commerical account second like this CFCU Community Credit Union Account Transfer Form advises. Look for an upcoming post on more preparation tips.
Remember, remember the Fifth of November. It’s Move Your Money Day and if enough Americans go along, it will be a day that will never be forgot by Bank of America and other “too big to fail” banks that wrecked our economy. If you’re on Facebook and you either plan to join a credit union or already keep your money in one, please “attend” the Facebook Event.
The concept is simple. On Saturday, November 5th (or the preceding Friday), close out your account with your commercial bank and open an account with a local credit union where you’ll save money and become part owner of your financial institution. A bank is accountable to its shareholders. A credit union is accountable to you and your fellow depositor/owners.
To join a credit union, you need to be part of their “field of membership”, which according to the National Credit Union Administration is:
- Employer – many employers sponsor their own credit unions
- Geographic Location – many credit unions serve anyone that lives in particular geographic area
- Family – most credit unions allow members’ families to join. So if someone in your family is already a member of a credit union – you may be eligible too!
- Membership in a group – like a church, school or alumni, labor union, homeowners’ association, etc.
Most of the time, you will meet somebody’s field of membership criteria. For example, if you live in Anchorage, Juneau or Fairbanks, you’re eligible to join the True North Federal Credit Union*.
You might think that individual depositors are small fish for the banks, but not really. Collectively, Americans hold about $10 trillion in bank deposits. If only 25-50% of this amount shifts away, they’ll feel it. According to at least one writer, transferring assets and targeted noncooperation with our current financial system may be one of our most effective tools:
On the other hand, imagine 1 million people inspired by the anger of OWS to close their national bank accounts and move to a local bank or credit union. Imagine 10 million people inspired to cut up their credit cards–or better yet, to join a Credit Card burning party at OWS protests. Imagine 20 million people inspired to commit to a Cash & Carry Christmas, in which they only use cash to buy presents this year from local brick and mortars (my god, what will the marketers do without your personal purchasing data to study?)
Credit unions are safe. Their accounts are insured up to $250,000 through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. In the past 20 years that my wife and I have banked at credit unions, we have had no problems.
Move your money. It’s a risk free way to save yourself money and give some measure of punishment to the institutions that gambled the economy away. What’s stopping you? Leave a comment.
Beyond Protests: How To Really Fight
Bank deposits hit record high of nearly $10 trillion
National Credit Union Administration
*True North’s website will be down for maintenance on October 16, 2011. If you’re reading this blog on that date, try again tomorrow.