Today is November 3, 2011. It’s TWO days to Move Your Money Day.
Move Your Money Day is a practical way to send a message to the banks using the language they understand – money. 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.
It’s important to open your Credit Union account first and then close your bank account. If you haven’t taken action yet, I’d recommend opening your new account today, tomorrow or Saturday and close your regular bank account after you have everything set up the way you want it at your new Credit Union home.
Banks and Credit Unions are both old hands at getting people to switch from one financial institution to another. Many of them have Account Transfer Checklists or Kits. Here are two examples:
CFCU Community Credit Union – http://www.mycfcu.com/pdf/account_transfer_qs.pdf
Home Federal Bank – http://www.homefederalbancorp.com/documents/Entire-Account-Transfer-Kit.pdf
When you find a local credit union, ask if they have such a form. If so, follow it to the letter. If not, use the forms above as a guide.
From looking both forms over, the most generic process is:
- Open your new credit union account
- Make sure all checks and debit card transactions have cleared your old account
- Send change letters to any companies that are doing direct debits from your account to start taking from the new credit union account. If you are using a bill pay service, set up a new bill pay service with your credit union before closing your old account.
- Send written notice to your bank to close your account or close it in person.
Again, first check to see if your new credit union has an account transfer kit specific to that credit union.
What happens when you open an account with a local credit union on or near November 5th? 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.